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Title: Our Opponents, on Autocue Credit: Craig Young Comment Sunday 21st May 2006 - 12:00pm1148169600 Article: 1245 Rights
 
The Christian Right are whingeing about civil unions again, but aren't able to prevent them happening. Ohdearwhatashamenevermind. The Maxim Institute bravely popped its head above the parapet in the form of barely-out-of-her-teens Amanda McGrail, opining that somehow civil unions 'damage' heterosexual marriage, but unable to show exactly how that might be the case. Of course, much of the Maxim Institute's opposition to lesbian and gay relationship recognition two years ago was penned by the 'retired' Bruce Logan. I'm not sure why Amanda wanted to draw inadvertant attention to that fallen figure and the plagiarism scandal that engulfed the Institute last year before Logan 'retired' from the organisation. However, she has. Then there's yet another so-called 'family' lobby group, called naturally the 'Family First Lobby', and headed by an ex-Radio Rhema host, one Bob McCoskrie. Now, Bob is entitled to do so, it's a free country, but I had a look at his rather basic webpage. No other lobby group members, no 'research' onhand, and only his media releases available to read. Can't someone stop the fundies from besmirching the word 'family,' just as they've done with 'Christian?' Anyway, the two groups had but a single idea between them. Apparently, we're being mature about this, and sitting down to work out things before plunging blindly into civil unity, as its opponents have drawn attention to their allegedly small numbers. I have a question for Bob and Amanda. Based on their reasoning, should we therefore stop tiny alternative religious groups with only a fewhundred members from celebrating marriages according to their traditions and rites, because given their small numbers, they would surely be minority interests too? I suspect they'd probably answer not, on the basis of religious freedom and church/state separation. Of course such faiths should be able to celebrate marriage in their own way, despite their tiny number of adherents. Therefore, why oppose civil unions? Surely, civil unions are a parallel institution for those who don't believe that marriage is a satisfactory option for lesbians, gay men and some heterosexuals. I also agree withremarks about legal recognition of significant personal relationships that are nonsexual, when the legislative schedule permits that attention should be paid with it, and would support any such moves for the benefit of those in such nonsexual relationships. All in all, the protests seemed rather flaccid. It was almost as if we'd all moved on, and the Institute and Lobby were providing kneejerk autocue statements of opposition for opposition's sake. Not even the verbal diarrhoetic Garnet Milne frothed into life with a venomous denunciation of the legislative reform in question from that cosmopolitan metropolis, Wanganui. In fact, I'm straining for signs of Christian Right activity anywhere. They seem to have gone strangely quiet, instead of noisy and strange as they usually were before last year's general election. Not Recommended: Maxim Institute: http://www.maxim.org.nz Family First Lobby (aka Bob McCoskrie): http://www.familyfirst.org.nz Craig Young - 21st May 2006    
 
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