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Civil Unions: A Silent Day?

Wed 27 Apr 2005 In: Comment

Yesterday, 26 April, we were finally able to officially register our civil unions, and the opponents had gone strangely quiet. Well, they were always strange, but... On TVNZ's Breakfast and Good Morning, Her Worship Kerry Prendergast and three civil union participants appeared. Two of them were the 'glamour grandads' of the Campaign for Civil Unions, Des and John. Tim Barnett was interviewed in the Dominion Post, which requested photos of the first ceremonies held for publication in their august newspaper. Even Granny Herald didn't strike all that much of a sour note. Garth George and Sandra Paterson seem to have been gagged and removed from their premises for the day, methinks. Unaware that no other social conservative was speaking out against the happy day, Don Brash foolishly said that he'd try to make it an election issue. Why, Don? Does National really have such pathetic policies that it has to engage in cheap populist scapegoating tactics to divert attention from them? Even when the polls say that people have other things to worry about? And there was a hush from the Christian Right quarter. Whereas his disgraced predecessor would have hurried to the media offices, current CHNZ leader Ewen McQueen was silent, as was Brian Tamaki and Richard Lewis of Destiny Church/New Zealand, and even Garnett Milne, the rabid verbal diarrhoetic of Reformation Testimony and one-person Campaign Against Civil Unions. I found this silence distinctly unnatural. There weren't even protests announced outside city council offices, which would have faced opposition from our own contingent, anyway. Perhaps they held a sulk-in somewhere. Did anyone see any badly dressed and coiffed lurkers outside council offices anywhere? Interestingly too, it all looked overwhelmingly secular, which says something about the declining role of religious observance, or perhaps Christianity's role within an increasingly secular and multifaith society where it is no longer civil religion de jure. Apart from Desperate Don, I think most of our fellow New Zealanders have realised that a pack of rabble-rousing fundamentalists were the only ones getting into hysterics about civil unions, and don't mind us having our day at the registry. Perhaps New Zealand fundamentalists have finally realised that they do have freedom of worship, belief, conscience and assembly in this country, that they themselves are a minority group as well, and religious freedom is enough for them. Yes, and I'm Queen Christina of Sweden. Craig Young - 27th April 2005    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Wednesday, 27th April 2005 - 12:00pm

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