Banter in the Garden
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Tea and Strumpets
For your edification, the man declared by Twitter to have won the debate. Highlights include ghost chips, eschatological, and Two. Two!
Submissions on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill close this Friday. So you need to do the submission thing NOW.
Here’s a post about how to make a submission: How to make a Select Committee Submission.
Here’s the call for submissions on Parliament’s website: Make a submission: Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. Very, very handily, if you scroll to the bottom of the Make a Submission page, you will find a button that enables you to make an online submission. So really, you can go ahead and make your submission right now. All you need to do is say something like, “I support the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, and I think it should be passed immediately.”
Please, do make a submission. Here’s what FoTLG Oliver had to say about making a submission on this bill, in his guest post (linked above).
… even if you have nothing to say except, “This is a wonderful bill, and I think it should be passed immediately”, say that. Those submissions are counted, rather than considered, but they are counted, and the only thing every politician agrees on is that numbers are the most important thing there is.
So go on. Click on the link, and make that submission now. Make a submission: Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill
No, seriously. I was getting really sad about the lack of complete garbage being written about marriage equality. I’d even been to NZConservative, and it’s a bit sad when you can’t rely on Lucia to bring the frothing crazy.
So, again, why set out after same-sex “marriage”? The answer is it is another step in a decades-long campaign to convince everyone that homosexuals and lesbians are no different from the rest of us and deserve all the rights and privileges known to mankind.
That’s pretty clear, right? “Gay and lesbian” people (the existence of bisexuals being obviously far too confusing for Garth) are different from “us”, and NOT deserving of the same rights. Not just different, but lesser.
Garth trots out the tired, stupid old “marriage is totes for having babies” argument, but even that isn’t sufficiently stupid and restrictive for him. Marriage is for people who want to “have children and to bring them up in a traditional family environment.” It’s not entirely clear what that means, but I’m pretty sure it’s “the 1950s”.
Thing is, that’s clearly not what marriage is for. Sort of accidentally, my children have been raised in a two-parent two-child two-cat household where the man goes out to work and the woman stays home and cooks. And we’re not married. Marriage and breeding are obviously two different things that function independently of each other.
I’m also not entirely sure whether Garth thinks I can have kids. Because I’ve had sex with women, and “by their very nature, homosexuals and lesbians cannot reproduce”. I really would like to see Garth asked the question, “Should bisexuals be allowed to get married?” because I suspect he might apoplexy. Having sex with someone of the same gender is a thing you do. Having a child is a thing you do. Neither is a thing you are. Gay people have kids. Straight people have kids using IVF or surrogacy. If this is your best argument, it’s obviously, simply, clearly wrong.
Garth is honest enough to admit that he “doesn’t understand” male homosexuality. It appears there are rather a lot of other things he also doesn’t understand. For instance, “it is disingenuous to complain about rights being taken away when they have never existed in the first place”. You go tell that to Kate Sheppard, Garth. I want to watch.
Also, if you’re quoting stats on civil unions, and you use a bunch of solid, concrete numbers, and then you say “a fair number of which have since been dissolved”, we can work out that you don’t want to tell us what the number is, and therefore it’s probably approximately “buggery fuck all”. (Also, note the comment where Garth is totally taken to school on the stats, it’s a piece of genius.)
Garth, I’d missed you. I’d assumed you’d been tucked away in a little home somewhere, with a blanket tucked over your knees, writing (or cut-and-pasting) furious little columns which your nurse sincerely swore were being published somewhere, honest. I liked to think of you, in a tiny darkened room, watching educational videos to try to understand male homosexuality, and stroking your Services to Journalism.
Turns out you’re still being published. Who knew?
I was a young student at university when Fran Wilde’s Homosexual Law Reform Bill was introduced to the House in 1985. Back then, over quarter of a century ago, it caused an uproar. And back then, as now, groups sprang up in support of the bill. I recall one group in particular: HUG, or Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays.
I was puzzled by HUG. Why did one need to assert one’s heterosexuality in order to support decriminalising consenting homosexual sex between men aged 16 or over? I thought that a person who was truly unafraid of gay men wouldn’t need to run up a banner to declare themselves straight.
I see the matter a little differently now. Perhaps it’s just the passage of time, and the sky hasn’t fallen. Perhaps it’s because I have come to realise just how malleable sexuality can be. Perhaps it’s because I have been happily ensconced in a monogamous relationship with a man for so long now that I am very secure in own identity as a straight woman. Perhaps it’s because New Zealand society as a whole is much more accepting of difference. To me, there is no great import to declaring my sexuality. It just is, and that’s all there is to it.
But of course, I am free to say that, without consequence, because my sexuality is accepted, and acknowledged, and even valorised by our society. What I see now is the great need for people like me, straight, accepted, acknowledged, valorised, to stand up and say that it is important to work to create the same possibilities for all people in our society. Not just say it quietly in the privacy of our homes, but OUT LOUD, in public. There are no consequences for me declaring my sexuality: there can be enormous consequences for the boy in Stratford, the woman in Hokitika, the lad in his first job labouring on a farm, the girl sitting in the pews every Sunday listening to homophobia because her parents make her go to church. We need to shout, as loud as we can, that there is a massive amount of support for gay and lesbian New Zealanders, to have exactly the same rights and privileges as New Zealanders who are straight. A huge number of people who are straight support marriage equality, and support people who are lesbian and gay, just because. And that’s all there is to it.
That’s why I’m part of Straights for Marriage Equality in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s part of the shouting and clamouring and agitating for change.
In a perfect world, I’d be looking for really extensive change to our marriage laws, so that they worked for bisexual and polyamorous people too. But I’m not about to let the perfect defeat the good. While my longterm ideal is for people to be able to form households and homes and marriages in whatever configuration they like, with the support of the state, I will at least support and work for this particular change, that people who are gay or lesbian can enjoy the same rights as people who are straight. It’s a start.
If you’re on Facebook, you might like to like Straights for Marriage Equality in Aotearoa New Zealand.
I almost can’t find anything to write about the Marriage Equality Bill which is now before New Zealand’s Parliament. Not because I don’t think it’s important! It’s a vital step in making sure that all New Zealanders have access to all services provided by the state, in this case, the recognition of the status of their relationships as valid. If the state is going to register marriages for some New Zealanders, then it shouldn’t be telling other New Zealanders that they’re not good enough to be married. To me, the arguments in favour of marriage equality are so obvious, and so well rehearsed, that it almost seems pointless to go through them again. And now that the Prime Minister has said that he will support the bill, it seems very likely that it will pass.
But over at The Hand Mirror, Luddite Journo makes a very powerful argument for keeping on speaking out and talking and writing and making a great clamouring for marriage equality.
Queer people will have to listen to homophobes telling us there is something wrong with loving someone of the same gender, that “homosexual relationships” are not normal. This will be painful and horrifying and dangerous for queer people in ways it will be difficult to describe to our straight friends. …
For that gay kid coming out in Te Awamutu, this debate will be terrifying. For that closeted bisexual public servant, this debate will be painful. For that lesbian who wants to leave the church and her husband with her children, this debate will be life-threatening. For all of us who don’t look like the gender norms we’re supposed to, this debate will be dangerous.
The bigots are out in force already, shouting their nasty words in the newspapers and on-line. We need to get the other stories out there, to take apart each horrid claim, to show the sheer absurdity of the anti marriage equality arguments.
So with that thought in mind, here’s a post I wrote a few years ago, in support of marriage equality: On marriage for lesbian and gay and other non-traditional couples.
Or you could take yourself over to Ideologically Impure, where the Queen of Thorns has a great series of posts:
Merv Duffy is wrong, dangerous, and unnecessary
Colin Craig: why is anyone listening to this dude, again?
“Those people” are a “problem” – gosh the Nats love their revealing language
Protect marriage! No, really
And across the Tasman, BlueBec has some great opinions: Strapping on the ranty pants – Marriage Equality edition (again)
And that reminds me of the one sad lack in the current campaign for marriage equality – it’s all about couples, and only couples. It would be good if it covered polyamory too. However, just as I supported civil unions even though I wished it went all the way to marriage equality, I will support this bill, of course, and then wait until we can take the next step.
It’s not often that your opposition tells you exactly what you should do. Even less often it turns out to be a good idea. But, and I can’t really believe I’m saying this, John Key is right.
Yesterday he was asked his opinion on marriage equality. Turns out he doesn’t have one. He’s put as much thought and sense of personal ethics into this as he did the Springbok Tour.
He said he didn’t think there was any “clamour” for gay marriage in New Zealand and it was not on the government’s agenda, NZ Newswire reports.
Got it? No clamour. If we want marriage equality, we need to make some noise about it. And given how often this issue actually makes an impression in the media in New Zealand, we need to do it NOW.
Those in favour of same-sex marriage outnumber those opposed nearly two to one. Yet you’d never guess it from the amount of noise we make. This is our chance to make ourselves heard on an issue that, apparently, our Prime Minister has no strong views about. David Shearer and the Greens are in favour. Peter Dunne wouldn’t comment.
So let’s clamour. Make some noise. Tweet. Facebook. Say you support marriage equality in New Zealand. Use the #clamour hash-tag. Write to Key. Tweet him (@johnkeypm). Go to the marriage equality website and sign up. If you’re in Wellington, Queer the Night is tonight. Go be clamoury there.
I don’t often get hectory. But this isn’t a lot to ask. If you’re in favour of marriage equality, if you think it matters, say something. How can we expect schoolyard bullies to treat us as equals when our government doesn’t?
If you have friends or co-workers or schoolmates who are on the fence or who argue against, try sending them here: if they’ve got an argument I haven’t covered, I want to hear it.
One thing Key has admitted: there are no legitimate arguments against gay marriage. Just a lazy feckless government that doesn’t give a shit. It’s up to us to change their minds. Who else is there?