|The Christian Right are trying to spin their opposition to marriage equality as being solely over 'civic virtue' and parental responsibility. The question is, are they convincing?
I never thought that I would have to reprimand Lord Carey, the former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, in the context of the marriage equality debate, but sadly, I must open this article with a quotation from the former Church of England chief at a recent anti-equality fringe group meeting at the UK Conservative Party conference at Brighton:
"Remember the Jews in Nazi Germany, what started it was when they were called names, that was the first stage toward that totalitarian state."
In other words, proponents of marriage equality are akin to Nazis. One can only suggest that Lord Carey take the time to recall the history of the Nazi Holocaust and note that lesbians and gay men were amongst its victims. His remarks must be especially offensive to Reform Judaism, given that many members of that denomination of Judaism support marriage equality.
Back down here in New Zealand, the problem is that there are two sets of Christian Right opponents. To give due credit to Colin Craig for once, at least he is trying to restrict his opposition to marriage equality and same-sex parenting to those narrow parameters, but he is more moderate than most other fundamentalist anti-equality campaigners in this context.
In public, Family First may be urging "restraint and moderation" in its call for anti-equality submissions to the Government Administration select committee, but on other occassions, Bob McCoskrie seems to be deliberately trying to spin the issue and has also attacked civil unions and relationship equality legislation for LGBT couples within his MacBlog (August 1). Unfortunately for Family First and the Conservatives, too, its 'triangulation' and damage limitation pleas have fallen on deaf ears elsewhere.
Take Ian Wishart, editor of the dire right-wing tabloid magazine Investigate. He has just blundered into the marriage equality debate and seems to be conducting his own intemperate rhetorical campaign against marriage equality, which can be used against other opponents of reform. According to Wishart, New Zealand LGBT communities have used a public relations "facade" of our own. Really, these comments are tantamount to conspiracy theory rhetoric, and it also sidesteps those pesky questions of substantive research which backs the value of same-sex parenting. It is noteworthy that in his recent diatribe, Wishart only cited two pieces, one from discredited US junk scientist and fringe figure Paul Cameron, and the other from the infamous and flawed Mark Regnerus study.
Despite the fact that the New Zealand Charities Commission saw fit to strike New Zealand's only surviving "exgay ministry", Exodus Ministries New Zealand, off the national charities register back in 2010, Wishart still claims that lesbian and gay sexual orientation isn't a durable or permanent orientation, despite evidence from most mainstream mental health professional associations that it is. And finally, despite Graham Capill's rape of three female children, male homosexuality is equated with pedophilia, despite mainstream pediatrics and developmental psychology avowing that pedophilia is a distinct paraphilia and psychopathology.
Or Bill Muehlenberg, a veteran Australian Christian Right extremist "family campaigner" who regurgitates propaganda from within his subculture as if it had not been invalidated and discredited by mainstream medical practitioner, scientific and social scientific organisations within the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand alike, as well as government regulatory agencies of appropriate expertise. Apparently, Wishart derived most of his peculiar current rhetoric from this Australian extremist and wrote a commendatory blurb on a recent, equally intemperate volume from Muehlenberg published in Australia. Muehlenberg's website can be mined for such extremist comments and at some point, perhaps we should import a copy of his recent antigay book.
The fact is that the New Zealand Christian Right has an immoderate majority of extremists, however much many of their so-called "leadership" might want to play down this fact. Very well, let us exploit that extremism and cite it in our arguments. Below, I have cited links to relevant rebuttals that we can use in each scenario.
Recommended (For Tactical Reasons):
Ian Wishart: "Exploding the Myths About Same Sex Marriage" Investigate: September/October 2012: October/November 2012: 10-22.
Bill Muehlenberg: Culture Watch: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com
Bill Muehlenberg: Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality: Balwyn, Victoria: Freedom Publishing: 2011.
"Lord Carey criticised for anti- equal marriage Nazi remarks" Pink News: 08.10.2012: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/10/08/uk-lord-carey-criticised-for-anti-equal-marriage-nazi-remarks/
Bob McCoskrie: MacBlog: "Polygamy is the Elephant in the Room" (Comments Thread: Started August 1, 2012): http://www.bobmccoskrie.com
Recommended (For Strategic Reasons):
New Zealand Charities Commission: Exodus Ministries Decision: http://www.charities.govt.nz/Portals/0/docs/decisions/Exodus_Ministries_Trust_Board.pdf
Rebuttal of Pedophilia Accusations: http://psychology.davis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html
Mark Pietrzyk: "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse: Science, Religion and the Slippery Slope": http://www.internationalorder.org/scandal_response.html
Truth Wins Out: Reparative Therapy rebuttal: http://www.truthwinsout.org/what-the-experts-say/
Greg Herek: Paul Cameron rebuttal: http://psychology.davis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron.html
Rebuttal of Mark Regnerus: Amicus Curiae: Karen Golinski versus US Parent Office of Personnel Management, John Berry and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the US House of Representatives: http://tinyurl.com/7g55hzt Craig Young - 10th October 2012