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DOMB dead!

Wed 27 Jul 2005 In: Comment

It appears that erstwhile United Future MP Larry Baldock has abandoned his attempt to get the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Bill*, which tried to ban New Zealand same-sex marriages, into Parliament. Baldock put a brave face on his little escapade, but apart from the Maxim Institute, there was a sadly depleted cheerleaders committee for this effort. Right to Life New Zealand, Prepare and Enrich (a fundamentalist marriage preparation group) and Focus on the Family New Zealand were the only ones to back Baldock's foolhardy measure. As Steve Maharey noted, it was a waste of parliamentary time. Apart from Mangere's Taito Philip Field, no Labour, Green or Progressive MP was willing to support it. It would only have been effective until it was repealed after public opinion had turned sufficiently in favour of same-sex marriage. It would have been unable to be entrenched legislation, which would require three-quarters of a parliamentary vote to overturn. And New Zealand doesn't have a written constitution, and the Solicitor-General felt that it was too radical an amendment to the Bill of Rights. I suspect that United Future is trying to use this to persuade fundamentalists to vote for them, given that the party rates one percent in most current opinion polls. National and New Zealand First need their heads examined if they still intend to waste parliamentary time on this, if they win the next election. Meanwhile, child health and welfare professional organisations continue to snowball against Section 59 of the Crimes Act, and in favour of Sue Bradford's private members bill for its repeal. Why is it that Garnet Milne, Palmerston North's Family Integrity, the Maxim Institute and CHP are the only ones who seem to think it is a good idea? And why are virtually all major child health and welfare organisations now on record against it? As for our friends in the Green Party, they've been hiding their light under a bushel. Back on March 9, they wanted to amend the Relationships Bill to include a clause that would have amended the Adoption Act to include same-sex parents, but prudence proved the better part of valour on that occassion. It would have been nice if they'd let the rest of us know that they were going to propose it, but it's the thought that counts. Even if it was largely symbolic, it shows that the Greens take our issues seriously enough to support Labour when the time does come for future adoption law reform. So, now we know. Not that any of us would contemplate giving their votes to a certain stealth fundamentalist party, but the Greens are definitely worth our time and interest. Labour needs a stable, moderate confidence and supply or coalition partner other than the Progressives, and the Greens are our best hope for that. *Nicknamed the "Defence of Marriage Bill," or DOMB, because it's a carbon copy of US/Australian Christian Right same-sex marriage ban bills. Recommended Reading: Labour Party Rainbow Labour (LGBTI supporters) Green Party Not Recommended: United Future New Zealand. Craig Young - 27th July 2005    

Credit: Craig Young

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

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