Article Title:Editorial: Vexed messages
Category:Features
Author or Credit:Jay Bennie
Published on:15th December 2004 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:535
Text:Through the final stages of the civil unions debate a number of our elected and list MPs have stood out for good, bad, or just plain perplexing reasons. Taking a leaf from those anti-civil unions blocs that threatened a vote for the legislation would send a message to the (conservative) majority of New Zealand voters next election time we'd like to pass on a few messages ourselves. Paul Adams' ignorant quasi-religious rantings had become just a background drone until he upped the anti and went on a fast to encourage God to knacker the Bill from on high. Message to Paul: You clearly did not have the ear of God even after starving yourself in a self righteous attention seeking paroxysm. At best God seems to be ignoring your intolerance, hatred, misrepresentation and bigotry. Please meditate on this. After several years of working closely with our other elected representatives Dail Jones has judged them all to be ignorant or stupid, or both. How else to interpret his assertion that the civil unions issue was much too difficult for MPs to decide on and that they should poll the populace in a referendum? Message to Dail: Most MPs in fact had sufficient grey matter to come to a decision... all you did was draw attention to your own inability to think things through all by yourself. Maybe Cambridge High could reopen its remedial class for you? Stephen Franks proved himself more callow and odious by the week as the select committee process ground on. Message to Stephen: Saying you're open minded and tolerant and liberal then repeatedly seeking out every available technicality to justify not legally acknowledging glbt relationships was bound to expose you as a homophobe. Did you think no one would notice? Maybe Dail Jones was right about you! Don Brash strode up to the table and played his “let's not alienate the fundamentalist vote” political death card. Message to Don: Leadership takes courage and vision. Do you really want to take up the prime ministerial chair owing allegiance to Destiny Church, the SPCS, the Reform Church, National Front and their ilk? Leave them to United Future and chart a new course for National. Those who know him closely might have hoped Lockwood Smith would vote for legal civil unions for glbt folk. But his mantra of “I must follow my conservative rural electorate,” dusted off from his stance on human rights legislation and before that homosexual law reform, still stinks of hypocrisy and craven addiction to parliament. Message to Lockwood: Front up to your conservative electorate with candour and strength of purpose and, like Georgina Beyer, you too could have an unassailable rural majority and be able to assert yourself as a leader. List MP Ashraf Choudhary took the long-term view, a rare feat of political vision, when he turned his back on the voices of religious bigotry in the muslim community and voted for universal tolerance. He already must be facing a few “please explain” demands but clearly realises that acceptance of diversity can never be a one-way street. Message to Ashraf: Thanks for not listening to those voices which would drag us back to the middle ages. Message to Nick Smith, who called the civil unions legislation “marriage in drag”: Drag is an art, not a disguise. Deborah Coddington's desperate thrashing about seeking headlines amounted to glbt-abuse and appears to have only been calmed when her young daughter advised her to vote for the legislation. Message to Deborah: Please do a little soul searching. It is to be hoped that party strategists from across the spectrum took notice of the unity of each of their youth branches which stood shoulder to shoulder favouring the legislation. Message to everyone in politics: This is where your new support and votes will come from in the next 1 to 20 years! And a final message to David Benson-Pope, Lianne Dalziel, Tim Barnett, Chris Carter, Georgina Beyer and the rest of the Labour caucus, openhearted ACT MPs, the ever-sensible Greens, the staunch Progressives and the sprinkling of others who listened to hatred, mumbo-jumbo and lies perpetrated in the name of morals, families, children, God and whatever other foundations of society could be twisted into vicious, self-serving diatribes: Thank you for seeing that the civil unions bill and any legislation that seeks to treat all citizens equally and fairly underpins an inclusive and unified society with a healthy future. Jay Bennie - 15th December 2004    
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