Article Title:The nonsensical opposition to Civil Unions
Author or Credit:Russell Brown
Published on:14th April 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:215
Text:In his Hard News weblog, media commentator Russell Brown puts United Future anti-Civil Unions campaign into simple perspective: "Opposition to the Civil Unions Bill is a necessary branding exercise, for United Future, hence the advertising campaign. Fine. But I feel bound to point out that Peter Dunne's argument against the bill (and its rather more important accompanying omnibus legislation) is nonsensical. His key plank ("The state sanctions marriage simply because marriage invariably involves children, so there's a need to have some protections in there. I don't think the same applies with regard particularly to same-sex relationships and I think the state should butt out.") is lifted directly from Maxim Institute PR. Marriage and parenthood can and quite frequently do exist independently of each other (or are childless couples not really married?). Dunne keeps on talking about civil unions "replacing" marriage: in fact, of course, the Marriage Act won't be touched. Marriage will remain exclusively between a man and a woman. (Lianne Dalziel discussed this quite intelligently on National Radio, before her resignation.) David Young has contributed a very interesting thinkpiece entitled 'Uncivil Union: A conservative case for gay marriage' in this week's Listener - offline-only, unfortunately - in which he quotes the pro-gay marriage Economist: "To establish something short of real marriage for some adults would tend to undermine the notion for all … Why shouldn't everone, in time, downgrade to civil unions?" It's a useful point, but to some extent that's already happening. A good many secure, loving family households - mine, for example - hold together nicely without a formal marriage. We have (most of) the relevant rights and, after the two civil union bills pass, all couples living "in the nature of marriage", including same-sex couples, will gain further rights (the civil unions are purely a means of recognising a relationship - they don't confer any actual rights themselves). I'm a practical chap, and civil unions seem like a practical step to me." Russell Brown presents Media Watch on National Radio, The Wire on Auckland's bFM, and has a regular computers and technology column in the Listener. His perceptive weblog comments on the news of the day are always good reading and can be accessed at:, His comments above were shamelessly lifted from his weblog. Russell Brown - 14th April 2004    
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