Title: US fundies attack NZ Civil Unions bill (Pt. 2) Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 17th May 2004 - 12:00pm1084752000 Article: 249 Rights
In the first part of this article [see under political comment - ed], I dealt with the impending threat that New Zealand lesbian and gay communities face from Focus on the Family, a predatory antigay US-based fundamentalist multinational corporation. In this second article, I'll deal with the antigay propaganda that we can expect, courtesy of Focus on the Family (US)'s website, as well as that of its Washington-based spin-off, the Family Research Council. Some of it is drearily familiar to those of us who are long-term observers of the US and New Zealand Christian Rights. As one might expect, there are no "straight answers" available from the first of the cited articles in a FAQ section that carries links to antigay articles that attack lesbian and gay relationship equality. All it does is mention Paul Cameron, Judith Reisman and FOF's Larry Burtoft as if they were mainstream social scientists who had not been discredited in parliamentary/congressional submissions, hearings, censorship tribunal cases and court cases in New Zealand and the United States alike. Their first effort won't fool anyone: Source: "Straight Answers: Exposing the Myths and Facts About Homosexuality:" Another paper asks whether "marriage is in jeopardy"- and then cites material about divorce, child neglect and abuse statistics and welfare benefit statistics that have nothing to do with lesbian and gay spousal or parenting equality: Source: "Is Marriage In Jeopardy?" Finally, the Family Research Council asks "what is wrong with letting same-sex couples marry," and notes that "there is a high divorce rate for gay unions in Sweden" in a recent Focus news article, while it compares the "lifestyles of gay couples to married couples." What is wrong with these? Well, one of their own, Stanley Kurtz, recently argued that there are many things "wrong" with marriage in Sweden, which includes heterosexual cohabitation, alleged dependence on a comprehensive welfare state, and which demonstrates that Sweden's modest registered partnership legislation plays a small role in the proceedings. There's nothing like an "own goal." Needless to say, Focus and the FRC rely on dated eighties statistics about gay men's sexual behaviour which predate the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and significant sexual behavioural changes. Moreover, when they do cite gay sexual behaviour statistics from recent studies, they don't mention age, socioeconomic or other variations within gay communities. If this is what we can expect, I don't think we'll get 'straight answers' from this crowd. And isn't their idea of 'compassion, understanding and love' skewed by the fact that their references have been used in attempted repeal of antidiscrimination laws and attacks on same-sex spousal and parenting equality? Sources: Steven Jordahl: "Divorce Rate High for Gay Unions in Sweden" Focus News (5.05.04): Peter Sprigg: "What's Wrong With Letting Same-Sex Couples Marry?" Family Research Council: In Focus 256:  
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