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TV current affairs and the CUB debate

Wed 23 Jun 2004 In: Television View at NDHA

Last Saturday TVNZ's Agenda and Eye to Eye carried two issues of interest to our communities- Peter Dunne on Agenda, and Georgina Beyer and Hone Kaa versus Brian Tamaki and the CHP's Ewen McQueen on Willie Jackson's Eye to Eye Maori debate programme. On Agenda, Simon Dallow raised some interesting questions in his interview with Peter Dunne that should be explored further. Dunne stated that there might be future "bottom lines" for prospective confidence and supply agreements with Labour and the Progressive Coalition. Sorry, but if they include inaction over inclusive adoption law reform and passage of transgender-inclusive antidiscrimination laws, Dunne can go to a very warm place reputed to be in the bowels of the Earth. As for the Civil Union Bill, Dunne noted that he might vote for aspects of the Relationship Recognition Bill, but not others, although he was still opposed to the CUB outright. He stated that he wasn't a "moral warden" and had voted for the Homosexual Law Reform Act (and voted against the Prostitution Law Reform Act last year). Dallow raised an interesting question about sponsorship. Dunne replied that he didn't know anything about the identity of corporate funding, and that was entrusted to the party organisation. Remember, United doesn't have any party organisation, so the party organisation is a euphemism for Future New Zealand and its infrastructure. Dallow didn't explore that avenue any further, but remember, Larry Baldock (UFNZ List MP) was a regular panel guest at anti-CUB meetings throughout the country, and one of them was Greenlane Christian Centre. The Batts family attend the Greenlane Christian Centre, ex-Christian Democrat leader Graeme Lee is a minister there, and the Batts family run the Derek Corporation, which also fund the Maxim Institute. Does anyone need to join the dots? After Dunne's appearance, TVNZ's Mark Sainsbury spilled the beans about the next Colmar Brunton poll, which presumably will show a hung parliament if translated into election night results next year. Apparently, it will also show that UFNZ's grandstanding against the CUB has backfired on it. Tariana Turia's Maori party might do so instead, which raises some interesting questions, given Ms Turia's supportive stance toward prostitution law reform. Would her party also support transgender-inclusive antidiscrimination laws, given Maori representation within that community? Unlike Dallow, Willie Jackson let his panelist guests fight it out. Hone Kaa represented Maori Anglicans, and demonstrated strong leadership over this issue. He dismissed Tamaki's ravings about "floodgates of perversion," "enough is enough," "abominations," "abnormality" and "unnatural instincts" as "absolute rubbish." He clarified that Anglicanism's Lambeth Conference was awaiting the results of an international discussion commission over human relationships, and stongly affirmed lesbian and gay ordination, distinguished homosexuality from "sodomy" as a theological construct, and asked some excellent questions about heterosexual domestic violence and child sexual abuse. He denied that Tamaki represented the normative Anglican tradition, and affirmed its liberalism. Georgina stood her ground with panache and style, as usual. She made some points about Tamaki's abusive homophobic rhetoric, noting that he had engaged in sweeping generalisations about lesbians, gay men (and transexuals. Incidentally, how exactly does the Bible condemn gender reassignment surgery, given that medical technology wasn't all that advanced two millenia ago, in the Ancient Middle East?) She stated that she was a citizen of New Zealand and deserved equal opportunity and represented a rural and conservative electorate, and had fought to become a positive contributor to New Zealand society. In deference to Right. Rev. Kaa, she noted that Tamaki and friend represented a 'particular type of Christianity.' She denied that religious institutions should have a monopoly on solemnisation of relationships (and don't, as civil marriage has been recognised here since 1847). She concluded that the Civil Union Bill was not going to alter the fact that marriage would remain heterosexual, and raised some excellent points about next of kin and inheritance rights, as well as the commitment of lesbian and gay parents to our children and families. As did Hone Kaa, she asked some excellent questions about heterosexual family violence. As for Ewen McQueen, he was ineffectual and Tamaki hogged the stage (and no, that's not a motorbike pun). Tamaki's drivel has been stated above, so it doesn't need further reproduction. However, Tamaki's outbursts and arrogance raise some other questions. He uses psychopathological rhetoric- does he do so because he believes the same old tired Christian Right junk science about 'gay conversion therapy', unrepresentative gay male paedophilia and other such nonsense? I thought that this debate raised some new questions. Hone Kaa represented pro-gay Anglicans very capably, and will make an excellent Archbishop of his denomination one day (soon, one hopes). I hope that the Civil Union Bill Committees seriously consider him as a senior patron or spokesperson, given his mana within Maori communities. However large Tamaki's sect is, Anglicanism still demands considerable Maori loyalty. Kaa's liberalism means that he has now become a representative for Maori who have takatapui members of their whanau who they love and cherish, and who may engage in leadership activities. I don't think this was institutional damage control either- Kaa stated his position with passion and integrity, and should be credited. I'm at a loss to know why Willie invited McQueen onto the programme, but Tamaki and McQueen looked suspiciously cosy. Don't tell me we're in for another dose of the Christian Coalition (Remixed) next election? Ban strange-sect marriages of convenience now! Recommended Reading: Destiny Church: http://www.destinychurch.org.nz Destiny New Zealand: http://www.destinynz.org.nz Craig Young - 23rd June 2004    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Wednesday, 23rd June 2004 - 12:00pm

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