Article Title:Comment: 28 Good Reasons to Support Section 59 Repeal
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:2nd April 2007 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1656
Text:Family First has provided the rest of us with a list of the organisations that oppose Sue Bradford's private members bill to outlaw hitting children. LGBT New Zealanders should be very, very worried... Family First, For the Sake of Our Children Trust, Society for the Promotion of Community Standards, Focus on the Family New Zealand, Promise Keepers New Zealand, Crosspower Ministries Otara, Vision Network, Affirming Works South Auckland, Parents Against Negative Involvement by CYFS, the Home Education Association, Family Integrity, Sowers Trust, the Family Education Network, VOICE (Hibiscus Coast, Helensville and Waikato), Courageous Women, Family Television, Trinity Broadcasting Network South Pacific Ltd, Marriage Works, Franklin Christian Lobby, GCC Public Affairs Group and Family Ministries (Youth With A Mission) are fundamentalist Christian pressure groups. Of these, For the Sake of Our Children Trust, Society for the Promotion of Community Standards and Vision Network campaigned against the Civil Union Act. Women for Life (Family Education Network), Youth With A Mission and Society for Promotion of Community Standards even campaigned against homosexual law reform. So, how otherwise representative is the list. There is only one Maori organisation listed as opposed to the bill - John Tamihere's Waipareira Trust. There are only two Catholic organisations- unsurprisingly, they're Family Life International and Right to Life New Zealand, both rabid anti-abortion organisations. There are no mainline church social agencies listed here whatsoever. Besides Crosspower and Affirming Works, there are only four Pacific Island organisations listed - the Samoa Community Council of Waitakere City, West Health Fono Trust and the Pacific Resource Centre Dunedin, as well as Lifespring Pasifika. Predictably, now that pro-repeal activism is finally beginning to crank up, the fundies are getting worried. Focus on the Family lied through its teeth when it denied the Prime Minister's quite valid observation that it was the New Zealand branch of a predatory US Christian Right organisation. Right, so we imagined James Dobson's poisonous little diatribe against LGBT relationship equality, Marriage Under Fire? So we imagined it when his Deputy, Bill Maier, visited New Zealand to rabble-rouse against the Civil Union Bill in May 2004? So we imagined it when Focus on the Family tried to negate LGBT inclusion within Colorado's anti-discrimination laws within a citizens referendum in 1992, until the US Supreme Court overturned that referendum result in 1996? Of the others, the Maxim Institute established VOICE to fight the Prostitution Law Reform Act, but failed to attract the neccessary number of signatures on its referendum proposal petition. I'd like to know what fundamentalist television stations like Family Television and Trinity Broadcasting Network have to say that meaningfully relates to parenting issues, for that matter. There are some not unexpected names also on the list. Greypower tends to solidly support New Zealand First, and it hasn't occurred to them that elderly citizens are protected from violent crime under the hate crimes provisions of the Sentencing and Parole Act, which should mean that violent crimes against infirm and elderly people attract greater severity in sentencing. Why shouldn't children have the same protection from arbitrary age-related violence? Then there are the male backlash organisations- Families Apart Require Equality, Parents Against Negative Involvement by CYFS and the Hands On Equal Parents Trust. It's rather disappointing to see Drug-Arm branches there, as this is an otherwise respected evangelical alcohol and drug relief advocacy group. It is especially disappointing to see the Sensible Sentencing Trust there, but that organization has drifted far from its roots as a respected, broadbased victims rights group, and has become sucked into right-wing political advocacy. For the sake of victims rights advocacy, I hope SST's more moderate members contact Garth McVicar and make their displeasure felt. And as for Muriel Newman's New Zealand Centre for Political Debate, how typical. There is one fascinating name on the list, too- the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Is that Unification, as in Unification Church, otherwise known as the right-wing Moonies cult? If so, I know politics makes strange bedfellows, but that's hardly a conventional or orthodox conservative Christian group in terms of its belief structure. With opponents like the above, it has become essential for LGBT New Zealanders to support the Crimes (Subsitute Section 59) Amendment Bill as it nears its third and decisive reading. You can help by using the email option at: Craig Young - 2nd April 2007    
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