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PandR: Bobbing Overseas?

Fri 23 Oct 2015 In: Politics and Religion View at Wayback View at NDHA

It's time for a status report on our solitary local Christian Right nuisance pressure group, Family First. Are they up to anything relevant this month? Apart from the continuing controversy over Bob Dawes' award winning young adult's book Into The River, and a new "McCoskri-versy" about Auckland adult erotic entertainment entrepreneur Steve Crowe and his Boobs on Bikes motorcycle parade, there's little else to report. One wonders why Family First is pontificating about adult erotic entertainment all of a sudden, given that used to be the province of the Society for Promotion of Community Standards, the decrepit Hutt-based pro-censorship pressure group. Or has it finally died, requiring Family First to take over the pro-censorship cudgels?  Bob McCoskrie is trying to interest others in the story of Walt Heyer, a US Pentecostal fundamentalist who 'regrets' his earlier reassignment surgery, but otherwise his anti-gay spiels are fading fast as he tries to deal with the looming new issues produced by the prospect of euthanasia law reform. It seems that that isn't the only thing that's ebbing, according to a scathing perspective on the organisation's antics posted on the 3 News website (06.10.2015). In it, Hayden Donnell  noted that "adverse" publicity from Family First opposition tactics is an excellent way of gaining support and visibility for events and legislation such as the Boobs on Bikes Auckland Parade, Ted Dawes' Into the River Young Adult award-winning novel, marriage equality, polyamory, Caitlyn Jenner and transgender rights issues, and so on. It doesn't work- we have marriage equality and it was passed by a wide margin, Caitlyn Jenner receives widespread support for her courage in coming out,50 Shades of Grey and Grand Theft Auto experienced record sales, and Into The River is to be published in the United States and there's talk of an accompanying movie. Moreover, there is every prospect that the interim ban will be lifted.  Oh yes, and he's going overseas very shortly to Salt Lake City as an Australasian delegate at the World Congress of Families IX on October 27-30. These annual international Christian Right get-togethers present opportunities for Christian Right pressure groups in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Africa to network and for the US Christian Right to pass on propaganda, tactics and strategies to its craven dependent satellites across the western world. He's not doing much, just handing over documentation to WCF IX organisers from WCF VIII in Sydney, and his offsider Bev Adair-Betts is doing a workshop on social media use. Oddly enough, having had a look at the schedule on WCF IX's website, I was fascinated to note the absence of any material related to marriage equality or even transgender rights. Instead, virtually all of the content focused on other concerns- comprehensive sex education, abortion, feminism, stem cell research and euthanasia.  I suspect the US Christian Right's defeat over marriage equality and its lack of good political fortune over its opposition to transgender rights have invalidated those respective crusades, so they're paying more attention to their other primary obsession, the anti-abortion cause.  Whether this means McCoskrie is ultimately going to shut up about transgender rights as he has over most other LGBT issues remains to be seen. He may be under pressure from Euthanasia-Free New Zealand, Right to Life New Zealand and the Care Alliance to do more about opposing euthanasia, given the launch of his anti-euthanasia "Protect" subsidiary website. Let's hope that's the case. Not Recommended: Family First: World Congress of Families IX: Recommended: Hayden Donnell: "Love thy enemy: Why Family First keeps helping the causes that it hates" 3 News: 05.10.2015: http://www.3news. thy-enemy-why-family-first- keeps-helping-the-causes-it- hates-2015100815#axzz3oTq3j1h4 Craig Young - 23rd October 2015    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Friday, 23rd October 2015 - 10:29pm

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