Title: Civil Peace: After LGBT reform Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 12th May 2008 - 9:16am1210540560 Article: 5929 Rights
After we secure the final items on our LGBT reform agenda - inclusive adoption reform, same-sex marriage proper, transgender rights and provocation law reform, then what? Civil peace happens. As with current abortion access, vestigial elements of the Christian Right will whinge about it from time to time, but accept it as fait accomplis. As time goes on, they'll move their attention to more feasible legislative targets. Britain and Canada are two relevant legislative examples. In the United Kingdom, the Christian Right is currently targeting embryological research involving human/animal hybrid blastocysts, or chimerae. In Canada, social conservatives are trying to exploit Canada's Income Tax Amendment Bill/C-10 to insert tax credit clauses to defund contentious films that depict material contrary to Canada's Criminal Code, or which depicts 'gratuitous' sex and/or violence, and also defund a much-needed supervised safe injecting room for IV drug users in Vancouver. Back in New Zealand, we have a situation where the Office of Film and Literature Classification has just passed an edited version of Philip Nitschke's The Peaceful Pill Handbook (2006) for public perusal if sold to those over eighteen, given that it no longer mentions suicide methods. Right to Life New Zealand is unhappy about this. Unlike Australia, which has a draconian Criminal Code (Suicide Related Materials) Act to outlaw even discussion of the voluntary euthanasia/assisted suicide debate in public workshops, and which has banned The Peaceful Pill Handbook from publication per se, New Zealand has a Bill of Rights, which contains a provision that upholds freedom of expression. One suspects that self-appointed guardian of public morals (and Kiwi Party MP) Gordon Copeland may try to mutilate the Bill of Rights here to get the book banned once more. As one can see from the above, then, cessation of the debate against LGBT rights is unlikely to spell a complete end to Christian Right activities. It will mean that we're not directly involved, though. And once accomplished, as in the case of women's franchise, divorce, contraceptive and abortion access, LGBT rights are unlikely to be overturned. So what happens, then? Do we take the fight back to them? Do we arrive at a situation of total fundamentalist quietism, as prevailed in the decades before the Christian Right lurched into life? Or will the Christian Right become the Catholic Right? What about societies that have weak conservative Catholic demographics, like our own? Welcome to the future. Recommended: Phillip Nitschke: The Peaceful Pill Handbook: Darwin: Exit International: 2006. Craig Young - 12th May 2008    
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