|Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock At present, the Christian Right is mostly quiescent, apart from the rumblings of Family First and the oddly renamed Kiwi Party.
In case anyone missed it, the Kiwi Party is the old Future New Zealand which was the old fundamentalist bit of United Future and the Christian Democrats at its inception, back in 1995. Larry Baldock is now sole leader, while Gordon Copeland is concentrating on parliamentary matters. And the issue that chiefly concerns them is... yep, spanking.
Granted, the Maxim Institute did make a passing comment abouttransgender issues, but didn't even cite any contending sources to contrast with the evidence-based proof of discrimination and social exclusion presented at the Human Rights Commission's Transgender Inquiry, indicating that it's a low priority for them. In other words, they won't be ready if transgender rights do appear on the legislative agenda at some point.
Meanwhile, though, Family First is gloating about 250,000 signatures on its pro-belting petition. Sorry, but I'm reserving judgement until after the petition's signatures are examined for authenticity. Remember the massive falsification that occurred when it came to the Coalition of Concerned Citizen's petition against homosexual law reform back in 1986? And even then, it may run into problems. If National decides to backtrack in the direction of the Christian Right, then it may face opposition from angry child health and welfare professionals, who wanted the anti-belting legislation passed. Count on them to vigorously campaign against any repeal referendum mounted by the Christian Right.
However, I am afraid that this whole situation only reinforces my distrust of citizens initiated referenda. If they can be used to attack children's rights, then what is to stop the Christian Right et al similarly trying to attack inclusive adoption reform, or same-sex marriage at some future point? The Citizens Initiated Referendum Act 1993 should never have been passed. When and if New Zealand First eventually leaves Parliament, it should be repealed as soon as possible.
Family First: http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/
Maxim Institute: http://www.maxim.org.nz/
Kiwi Party (formerly Future NZ): http://www.thekiwiparty.org.nz/ Craig Young - 31st January 2008