Marriage Bill reported back

February 27th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Government Administration Select Committee has reported back Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill.

The changes to the bill are:

  • Will not come into force immediately upon royal assent, but up to four months later
  • A new s29(2) which says “Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), no celebrant who is a minister of religion recognised by a religious body enumerated in Schedule 1, and no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation, is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.”
  • Repeals s56 which made it an offence to deny the validity of a marriage
  • Has consequential amendments to the Adoption Act, Crimes Act and other Acts

These are very helpful amendments, and meet the concerns of many whom submitted they were concerned that a law change could force Ministers of Religion into being forced to conduct same-sex marriages. It was doubtful it would, but the proposed changes remove doubt.

Another change, which I submitted on, was that if someone said a was not a “true” marriage they could be charged under the obscure s56. There never has been a prosecution, but removal of the section again removes doubt.

One consequential change is that if a married person legally changes their gender identity, they will no longer be automatically divorced.

Also there was some doubt over whether married same sex couples would be eligible to adopt children as a couple, based on this law change. The consequential amendments make it clear they will. Note that a gay or lesbian can already adopt a child, and many have. They are just currently restricted to adopting by themselves, rather than with their partner.

I expect the second reading is likely to be on Wed 13 March, and committee stage on Wed 27 March and finally a third reading on Wed 17 April. But this all depends on what local bills or other members’s bills are around, so dates may change.

The MPs on the select committee had over 20,000 submission to wade through and heard hundreds of oral submissions. While people will disagree on the main purpose of the bill, I think most will appreciate the improvements made to the bill – which is the main job of a select committee. It is up to Parliament as a whole to really decide if a bill proceeds or not. The Select Committee’s job is to improve it, and I think they have done this.

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186 Responses to “Marriage Bill reported back”

  1. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    Well, I guess the government will want this voted on and passed asap so that it’s as far away from the next election as possible.

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  2. David Farrar (1,898 comments) says:

    The Government has no control of the timing. Members’ bills progress according to Standing Orders. The Govt only controls the order of Government bills.

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  3. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Liberal job done.

    What’s the next dilutive shift in the definition of marriage?

    Polygamists and polyandrysts are still ‘discriminated’ against. Yes, I think that will be next.

    As for the s29(2), does anyone really believe there won’t be a human rights challenge to that?

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  4. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    A new s29(2) which says “Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), no celebrant who is a minister of religion recognised by a religious body enumerated in Schedule 1, and no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation, is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.”

    That seems very PC – it was necessary because of fears expressed by some but just confirms the practical reality we have had up to now, where celebrant and the couple being married had choice who did the officiating.

    Even less necessary would have been a clause that ensured that a couple wouldn’t be forced to accept a celebrant that didn’t suit them. No one seemed bothered about this possibility.

    There doesn’t seem to be a shotgun clause that prevents a father of the bride from coercing the groom to the alter. Gays probably don’t have that problem.

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  5. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “Will not come into force immediately upon royal assent, but up to four months later”

    What is the reason for this?

    [DPF: Time for DIA to get new forms, regs etc ready]

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  6. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    The Government has no control of the timing

    I have a bridge for sale. Interested?

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  7. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    krazykiwi – the Government can’t control the timing, God controls the the timing of everything, right?

    If this bill passes it must be God’s will?

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  8. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    “Will not come into force immediately upon royal assent, but up to four months later”

    What is the reason for this?

    Simple. If it came into force upon assent, no one could really predict when that might be, and so the posturing to be on the front page of Woman’s Day or Listener as the first gay couple to marry would be difficult. But now there is a royal assent, and then a gay couple can plan a wedding for four months later, and then be the first to do so and capture a whole lot of attention.

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  9. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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  10. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    krazykiwi (8,853) Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    As for the s29(2), does anyone really believe there won’t be a human rights challenge to that?

    Read the Human Rights Act. Specifically section 21B quoted below:

    Relationship between this Part and other law

    (1) To avoid doubt, an act or omission of any person or body is not unlawful under this Part if that act or omission is authorised or required by an enactment or otherwise by law.

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  11. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Investigate magazine , which more Kiwi’s should be reading, has found a clause in the bill saying anyone criticising gay marriage will be fined.

    Freedom of speech is on the way out.

    Now we know why govts are supporting gay marriage. Great tool to suppress free speech.

    Especially from the pulpits

    [DPF: They are wrong. There is no such clause. In fact the bill now removes a clause which made it an offence to criticise the validity of a marriage]

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  12. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Well that’s the end of the world scheduled for about May.

    Bugger! :)

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  13. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    How long have we got Andrei? I want to know if I should bother painting my house, the south side is flaking off.

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  14. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    David, so if the Government has no control of timing, is Bob wrong when he says this member’s bill is being rammed through?

    From Bob MacCoskrie’s Blog, the post Husband and wife to be removed from family laws:

    “Other Members’ bills are not being rammed through at such speed. Yet the same-sex marriage bill has had just six months to consider 21,500-plus submissions, hear oral submissions, and report back.”

    [DPF: I disagree it is being rammed through. It is proceeding at the exact same pace that every other members' bill proceeds. That pace can only be changed by effective unanimous consent of Parliament]

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  15. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    I’d quite like to know when this ‘end times’ is due.

    it has been predicted for some 1,900 years now

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  16. cha (4,020 comments) says:

    Liberal job done

    Yup, Frankfurters everywhere.

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  17. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    TheContrarian – someone will be right one day (and who knows, it could be Andrei) – the only problem is, there will no one left to say “I told you so” to.

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  18. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    THE END IS NIGH!

    THE END IS NIGH!

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  19. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    David,

    So …. who decided to only give 6 months for the select committee to consider this bill?

    Here’s what Bob says in another post, Committee Confirms Muzzling of Thousands of Submitters

    “Other Members’ bills are not being rammed through at such speed. Some of these bills are being considered by the same Select Committee. The Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill was introduced a month before the same-sex marriage bill, and yet the Select Committee report is not due until August 2013. The Lobbying Disclosure Bill also had its first reading a month before the same-sex marriage bill, yet the report is not due until the end of July. The Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill – a government bill also being considered by the Government Administration Select Committee – has 12 months for the Select Committee to consider.”

    “Yet the same-sex marriage bill has just six months to consider 21,500-plus submissions, hear oral submissions, and report back,” says Mr McCoskrie.

    Maybe you are right, maybe it’s not being rammed through. But, unfortunately, that is what it looks like. With somewhat unseemly haste. Very few people decide to get married after knowing their potential spouse for only six months. Maybe the select committee and private member’s bill process, given that it’s dealing with marriage, ought to slow down as well.

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  20. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    [DPF: They are wrong. There is no such clause. In fact the bill now removes a clause which made it an offence to criticise the validity of a marriage]

    Cool!

    If people turn up to a gay’s wedding on public land – and denounce their nuptials – we don’t get charged! :cool:

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  21. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Yes I’ve noticed Bob McThouShaltNot takes a great deal of interest in what other people might be ramming through…

    (like most big-government conservostatists do.)

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  22. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    It is being rammed through Lucia and in England and in France the same is true.

    The real purpose is not to advance “human rights” but to advance secularism and to make marriage meaningless.

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  23. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    If people turn up to a gay’s wedding on public land – and denounce their nuptials – we don’t get charged! :cool:

    Wow, you’re really showing your quality now.

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  24. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “….Cool….If people turn up to a gay’s wedding on public land – and denounce their nuptials – we don’t get charged!…”

    “Wow, you’re really showing your quality now.”

    Just expressing MY rights!

    And I’m gonna wear me arseless chaps too ! :cool:

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  25. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “The real purpose is not to advance “human rights” but to advance secularism and to make marriage meaningless.”

    Yeah fuck that – everyone should believe what I believe and no one should have the freedom to live any other way. Hurrah for theocracy!

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  26. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Meaninglessness is in the eye of the beholder.

    I’ll still value my marriage and my wife as much as ever regardless of what legalese is used.

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  27. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    What Pete said.

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  28. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    Nobody is stopping anybody from living any way they want Contrarian – Marriage is an institution that serves a profound and important purpose that being the raising of the next generation in their families of origin.

    Leftoid, progressive secualrists hate the fact the people like myself and Lucia Maria bring up our kids to respect our values and not theirs which is why they want to undermine families with shared cultural values that are based on blood ties. And such families tend to look after their own before turning to the State for sustenance

    But Leftoid, progressive secualrists are basically stupid and all they will end up with is a degenrate population who fuck like rabbits and who will feed at the States teat until the milk runs dry

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  29. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    C’mon RRM….tell us where your getting Married…..I’ve got a good sound system in my car…..just the right thing for Kylie Minogue at full bore…..I’ll be your unofficial MC…..sense of humor and all that….. :cool:

    .

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  30. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “Leftoid, progressive secualrists hate the fact the people like myself and Lucia Maria bring up our kids to respect our values and not theirs hich is why they want to undermine families with shared cultural values that are based on blood ties.”

    What utter crap – you can raise your kids with whatever values you please. The government doesn’t legislate on personal values.

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  31. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    How many times you been married Pete George?

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  32. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Twice. I picked that up too.

    He clearly contradicts himself with what he just said.

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  33. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    I don’t doubt that you will continue to value your marriage as much as ever, Pete.

    But will your children?

    Or their children? Or their children’s children?

    Over decades, societal attitudes will gradually change. Phrases that are in common use will fall out of use, new phrases will come into use, language changes. This isn’t news to anyone, we all know this happens. So, over decades of using the term “partner” for example, it is quite possible that this will replace the term “spouse”. Official forms may no longer have the choice between “husband/wife” and “partner”, but rather it will all come under the catch-all term “partner”. Eventually, nobody will refer to their husband or their wife as such – we will all just have “partners”.

    Maybe this is what we as a society want. Do we?

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  34. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    It isn’t a contradiction at all – what does the number of marriages he has had got to do with gay marriage undermining his devotion to his wife?

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  35. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    If his first wife is dead you two just made yourselves look really classy…

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  36. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Andrei – twice.

    I had three children (now wonderful adults) in my first marriage but had to bullshit a priest to get consent to use him and his church (it was convenient for the bride’s family).

    Second marriage was as special as the first, more so over time (I guess the priest couldn’t even consider this one but we didn’t consider using a priest either).

    I don’t remember if we used the words ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ in the ceremony, but we call each other husband and wife now and don’t see any need to change that. There was never any intent to have children, we’d both done our share of procreating, but still get a lot out of being legally married.

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  37. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Why would you “bullshit a priest” to get him to marry you? Why not just stand up to the bride’s family and say “I don’t believe in this”?

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  38. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    RRM#

    You gays can always build yourself a wedding function center on private land…..if you all get sick of me turning up to your weddings on public land and denouncing your nuptials….expressing my legal rights…..in arseless chaps….all now legal of course!

    You could call it The Closet!

    My legal arguements a bit immature for you gays are they?…….funny that ! :cool:

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  39. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    Why marry at all Pete George?

    The law will confer upon you all the rights and responsibilities of that state after two years of cohabitation? I think it is two years anyway – something of that order

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  40. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    graham – because the bride felt it was much easier not telling her family she didn’t believe in all the religious stuff she’d been brought up with (including being shut in a cupboard by a nun for not crying when her father died). And I found it easier just to go along with it because I wanted to get married with as few hassles as possible.

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  41. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “Why marry at all Pete George?”

    I can’t speak for Pete but I got married because I wanted to invite friends and family to get together and witness us pledge our love and have a party. Two different groups of people coming together who may have never meet to hopefully make new bonds.

    There was no god, no religion and our celebrant was an atheist.

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  42. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    ‘….If his first wife is dead you two just made yourselves look really classy…’

    Pete knows that I once asked him about his divorce.[He had bought it up.]

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  43. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    You gays can always build yourself a wedding function center on private land…

    You know NOTHING. You idiot.

    I’m straight, married, and have a school-aged daughter and a baby son.

    Would you like to re-think any of that bullshit you just posted? Or are you happy for your wrongness to speak for itself?

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  44. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Why marry at all Pete George?

    Because it had (and still has) special meaning to us, and we could.

    We had already cohabitated for two years anyway so that was irrelevant. It meant much more to us than a property arrangement, things have changed a lot since the old days (for some of us).

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  45. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Well according to the report of the select committee the words husband and wife will be eliminated from a number of pieces of legislation and replaced with the word spouse. So we are eliminating the concept of husband and wife.

    This legislation of course brings into law the concept of gay adoption. There may be more morally problematic situations than 2 gay men adopting an unrelated boy, but I can’t think of any right now.

    Not being able to prosecute pastors and priests for refusing to marry gay couples is nice to see. However given a few years I would predict that pastors and priests will be prosecuted. The notion of marriage as a fundamental human right will take precedence and clergy will be seen to be homophobic and will be prosecuted accordingly.

    Also I can see churches being fined and persecuted for not wanting to open up their premises to gay couples.

    These things always grow and are never satisfied. Unfortunately the march of libertine sexuality will carry on and will be seeking new horizons to conquer. Transgender issues will be next. And as DPF notes, this bill is already opening up that can of worms.

    Another sad day for New Zealand and our nation in my view.

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  46. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    You know NOTHING. You idiot.

    “…..I’m straight, married, and have a school-aged daughter and a baby son……Would you like to re-think any of that bullshit you just posted? Or are you happy for your wrongness to speak for itself?….”

    I was being general.

    Sorry if YOU took offence with being called GAY!

    Why would you take offence RRM…..hahhahah….I know…..now your taking offence that your married to a women….and I thought you may be getting Married to a GUY!

    Ohhhh deary me RRM…..such irony here…..such a confused future for us all! :cool:

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  47. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I was being general.

    Sorry if YOU took offence with being called GAY!

    :lol: LOL

    You can lie to me all you want, but what will your God think about that? Hmmm? :cool:

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  48. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Scott:

    Also I can see churches being fined and persecuted for not wanting to open up their premises to gay couples.

    You obviously didn’t read DPF’s post then, this is explicitly excluded by a new clause in the legislation to try and appease numpties like you.

    Why the hell would someone want to get married by a celebrant who didn’t want to officiate?

    The churches “not wanting to open up their premises to gay couples” are not likely to have endeared themselves to gays wanting to get married, are they.

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  49. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    In most forms/documents the same thing applies whether the partner/wife is de facto or marital.

    I suspect parents are just going to have to get more careful in how they name their children.

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  50. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott, how does the use of the term spouse or partner on forms eliminate the use of the terms husband or wife (apart from on the said forms)?

    And you fail to appreciate that freedom of conscience means balances out right to marry – so no one is, or will be, requried to officiate. Churches have refused to marry divorced people and they have never been forced to do so. This is discrimination based on the (former) marital status of one of the marriage parties, yet no one has tried to force a church to host that wedding.

    The only point you touch on that is a major change would be if a pair of males can adopt an unrelated male child, at present single males cannot adopt an unrelated male (and those adoptions have been of their children/those in their care earlier etc). One should note however, there are very few adoptions of unrelated children born in New Zealand.

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  51. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    You obviously didn’t read DPF’s post then, this is explicitly excluded by a new clause in the legislation to try and appease numpties like you.

    What the government bestowth the government can take away.

    When gays were given civil unions we were earnestly told that hetrosexual marriage would remain sacrosanct, a guarantee that lasted eight whole years – Hah!

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  52. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “…just confirms the practical reality we have had up to now, where celebrant and the couple being married had choice who did the officiating.”

    I’m not sure I understand this ‘objection’ to an explicit religious exemption.

    An explicit exemption seems entirely appropriate. Many people object to gay marriage on the basis that it represents a movement beyond ‘tolerance’ of certain behaviours and instead signifies public approval. In a world where people can’t withhold approval of homosexuality without being pseudo-scientifically branded as being ‘phobic’ by the likes of Pete George, it’s a quite valid concern for religious people to have that liberals (so-called) will eventually bring force to bear pressure on church’s to ‘bend to the marriage’ in a Thomas More kind of way.

    This seems especially likely to me given that all marriage celebrants, be they religious or otherwise, act as agents of the state when discharging that function.

    Some jurisdictions of the United States have already seen moves to prohibit churches from discriminating against gay couples. NZ is behind the curve but it will probably happen here too. That time will probably come – and it’s not unreasonable for dissenters to be sceptical of claims that DPF and Pete George will die on a hill to defend our ethical prerogatives.

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  53. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    I didn’t realise this would mean no more heterosexual marriage, Andrei….oh wait.

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  54. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Andrei, when you say (1.18 pm) that in the end time judgement of the world people will be “incontinent” – do you mean they will be

    1. on a large ship/ark sailing between continents to escape judgement
    2. or that they will be pregnant/post child birth – woe to those in childbirth at the time of tribulation/imperial conquest and the child taken to slavery (an OT theme)
    3. or just a lot of old people (baby boomers in a few decades trime) who earlier promoted liberalism and are once again wearing nappies to make old age care home easier for their minders ?

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  55. cha (4,020 comments) says:

    The Frankfurters have been busy.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-26/apple-joins-morgan-stanley-to-back-gay-marriage-at-supreme-court.html

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  56. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    I just can’t fathom why anyone would want to get married by an unwilling celebrant/priest in an unwelcome environment.

    Maybe religious people think differently.

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  57. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato you write this “This seems especially likely to me given that all marriage celebrants, be they religious or otherwise, act as agents of the state when discharging that function.” – without reference to what the amendment to the bill has come back from the committee or reading the opening post here.

    “Effective” agents of the state and yet with discretion as to officiating. Churches have for years determined themselves able to restrict church marriage to those of the faith and neither being divorced etc.

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  58. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    PG – I suspect that what you don’t fathom (but write about anyway) could fill a book.

    It’s not just religious people who think differently, it’s people who are ideological about their sexuality who think that way too.

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  59. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC – reread my comment. I was pointing out PGs error in suggesting the superfluity of that amendment. I agree it is a good, effective way to provide some comfort to religious people – until the amendment is repealed (or struck down following constitutional tinkering).

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  60. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Andrei, as to “when gays were given civil unions we were earnestly told that hetrosexual marriage would remain sacrosanct, a guarantee that lasted eight whole years”.

    There is irony to this, as those once opposed to civil unions now say this is why there is no need for same sex marriages to provide equality.

    But you have a point on what politicians say – their word leaves with them when they are replaced by other politicians. For example John Key promises no change to super age and rate while PM – this does not bind future PM’s.

    I note John Key opposed civil unions then and yet now …

    In this case of politicians their words and their actions – there is the amendment to the legislation ensuring celebrants have their freedom of conscience and free speech about marriage validity is allowed (the law arose because once upon a time the Catholic Church regarded other marriages as invalid).

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  61. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    This is wonderful news. I look forward to the legislation being voted into law.

    The fact that it will piss off Hateful Harriet, Angry Andrei, and Loony Lucia is simply the icing on the cake.

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  62. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Pete George – now you are calling me a numpty! I’m not sure what that is Pete but it doesn’t sound very nice. And I haven’t said anything mean to you for years.

    The point about pastors and priests not being liable for prosecution was acknowledged. However in the future I am sure that pastors and priests will be prosecuted. Sin always grows. The state may grant an exemption now. And the state may well take it away again in a few years once the coast is clear. I can definitely imagine gay activist couples purposely targeting priests and pastors for persecution by demanding that they perform their marriage ceremony or face arrest.

    The point about churches, which you have clearly missed, is that gay couples may well wish to hire church premises for the ceremony. There are many picturesque churches which are used as nice backdrops for a wedding ceremony. Church premises are not exempt and so therefore may well face fines and persecution from the PC police.

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  63. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, Ok got it. As to future amendment, marriage law is not amended that often. Re constitutional tinkering – freedom of conscience provides balance (for imposition would be a discrimination against political creed or religious faith), the real issue would be when the Supreme Court had to determine on something (balance two different rights) and then parliament tried to then clarify legislation.

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  64. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    There is irony to this, as those once opposed to civil unions now say this is why there is no need for same sex marriages to provide equality.

    There is no irony there at all – civil unions were bestowed to address a preceived need and that was supposed to be the end of the matter.

    Marriage is sacred to some of us, very sacred and this thing is the equivalent of putting a crucifix in a jar of urine, a famous artwork, of course.

    There will be consequences to this thing, bad consequences because when it comes down to it, marriage at its heart is about replenishing the species in an orderly manner and if you mess that up you are finished.

    But since you are live for today people with no sense of building for the future you can’t grasp this.

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  65. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott are you saying that churches are leasing out their churches or church surrounds for marriages between couples whom they would not officiate at (not of their faith, or divorced)? That they allow this, but would oppose a gay couple if they sought a civil union or now a marriage?

    Have any gay couple having a civil union asked for a service at a church they were not members of?
    Have any gay couples asked to use a church or surrounds for a civil union that they church refused to officiate?
    Have any gay couples simply asked first up to use a church or surrounds for a civil union (where they brought their own celebrant)?

    Just wondering how much of what you say is based on what has happened with civil unions or what you fear might happen.

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  66. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    The fact that it will piss off Hateful Harriet, Angry Andrei, and Loony Lucia is simply the icing on the cake.

    No, not the icing. This outcome was always the cake. Please add me to your list.

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  67. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    “Marriage is sacred to some of us, very sacred ”

    Andrei, I understand that this change is a major challenge to some people’s faith. It’s hard to know how many, possibly a similar minority to gays who might want to marry. Whatever, numbers aren’t important.

    There were probably similar feelings about allowing people to have non-religious marriages – non-sacred weddings.

    There’s a possible solution. You can refer to people married in your preferred religious fashion as a ‘sacred wedding’, giving it a special meaning to you. And others can refer to just ‘wedding’ or with some other description, like ‘civil wedding’ if they fancy that.

    I certainly wouldn’t describe my marriage as sacred.

    Serious suggestion. Would that go some way towards alleviating your sense of loss?

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  68. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Andrei, I don’t think the replenishing of the species in an orderly manner will be impacted much by upping the term for same sex partnerships from civil unions to marriages.

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  69. Bingo99 (88 comments) says:

    Oh Andrei!

    “There will be consequences to this thing, bad consequences because when it comes down to it, marriage at its heart is about replenishing the species in an orderly manner and if you mess that up you are finished.”

    No. It’s not. For someone who claims to have a sacred knowledge of this “institution”, you’ve failed to understand the real purpose of marriage time and time again. Almost willingly, it would seem.

    “3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,”

    Blimey! Incontinent, you say! So does that mean we’re all going to wet ourselves or we should just be afraid of those that do? Because my two-year old is having a few issues of late… and he’s looking mighty shifty!

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  70. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    SPC – certainly churches can be hired for wedding ceremonies. For example old St Pauls Church is a very picturesque church in Wellington. It is often used for wedding ceremonies. Sometimes they might get the priest in, sometimes they might have their own wedding celebrant.

    It is perfectly within the bounds of possibility that a gay couple might want to have a secular wedding celebrant preside over their wedding in a picturesque old church setting.

    Kevin Hague touched on this issue at the select committee when he asked a pastor, would I be able to hire your church Hall to host my gay cycle club? And if not,why not?

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  71. Rhodie (28 comments) says:

    What a sad indictment on our society when a minority of poofters have to have their way regarding the institution that is legitimate marriage. Where does the rot stop? Homosexual adoption? Polygamy? Bestiality?

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  72. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “Marriage is sacred to some of us, very sacred”

    They sacred aspects of your marriage haven’t changed.

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  73. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    If we Redefine Marriage I’m immediately switching to Family/Divorce Law. I’ll make a killing.

    All this bill will do if passed, will create different tiers of “mawige” held by different groups and make a complete mockery of the cohesiveness of the institution.

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  74. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC – I appreciate that. My concern is really about this: our non-practicing legal elite (well, university lecturers anyway) worship at the feet of Canadian human rights and constitutional jurisprudence. The NZ Bill of Rights Act, for example, is a watered down version of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The most significant difference is that, for now, the NZBORA does not have the same entrenched status as the CCRF – yet.

    Entrenchment of one form or another has always been hankered after and when and if NZBORA is similarly entrenched we are likely to see an increased scope for judicial review of primary legislation. Canada is instructive example because there are examples of Crown lawyers deliberately throwing cases when statutes are challenged by gay rights advocates (see The Charter Revolution & the Court Party).

    This is not to mention the well-documented role of Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals which are unencumbered by common law procedural restraints and fairness. The same applies here, but should the status of the NZBORA be elevated we should see an increase in use of that forum to harrass religious institutions and ministers who object to gay couples using their pretty buildings for weddings.

    In fact, this kind of nuisance legislation (which in the absence of procedural protections constitutes persecution in its own rights) Canadian gay advocacy groups have committed plenty of lawfare against Catholic and other clergy. An example is the Bishop of Calgary who has already been the subject of a number of complaints to the effect that freedom from discrimination trumps religious liberty.

    The fears are not unfounded.

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  75. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Where does the rot stop? Homosexual adoption? Polygamy? Bestiality?

    It doesn’t. To your questions – Yes (imminently), Yes(next liberal target in the removal of ‘discrimination’), Yes(long term evolution in the destruction of traditional family)

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  76. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott, was this matter one that that was raised before the Select Committee by churches seeking to prevent same sex marriages from occuring on their premises. Has/had any church come under pressure to rent out its building to host a civil union they did not want to host?

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  77. cha (4,020 comments) says:

    If we Redefine Marriage I’m immediately switching to Family/Divorce Law. I’ll make a killing

    Doubtful .

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  78. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC, this is the kind of proposed law that I believe people such as Scott – and myself – are concerned about:

    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/proposed-law-would-force-churches-to-host-gay-weddings.html

    I belive that, given the frightful intolerance of fundamentalist liberals, this will be an issue in the future.

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  79. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, one reason not to be too fast a follower is to learn from the precedent/experience of others. Thus aware of the consequences of more formal adoption of human rights law we would presumably enact legislative clarification with that development. While some might fear what that might mean, it would at least prevent endless testing in the courts.

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  80. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    SPC – the issue of pastors having to go to jail for refusing perform same-sex weddings was the one that got the select committee’s attention.

    The issue of church premises being used for gay marriage ceremonies was not addressed to my knowledge. However many churches hire out their facilities to the community. So I would expect gay marriage advocates to target churches in a few years. As they are doing overseas. Given the massive power of the State, small churches will be driven into bankruptcy by judicial fines if they are not willing to open up their premises to gay marriages.

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  81. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I just have to point out, that despite the fact that Pete George seems to think it impossible that “someone want to get married by a celebrant who didn’t want to officiate?” this happens routinely where the person in question is intolerant of dissenting views.

    There was a famous example in Saskatchewan occured shortly after gay marriage was legalised in Canada. This is M.J. v. Nichols. A gay couple wanted to have a civil wedding and rang around the civil marriage celebrants in his area. One of them happened to be a Christian and explained that he had a conscientious objection but that he would happily find somebody who would perform the marriage.

    This enraged the activist who insisted that this was discrimination and that that specific celebrant was obliged to perform the ceremony if ask. A human rights complaint was lodged – and suceeded in the courts.

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  82. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, some of that (in the USA at least) is part of the contention over same sex partners not being able to marry. They are using the law as a weapon against churches because they see the church as promoting marriage between a man and a women law to block same sex civil unions and marriages.

    Where it is happening in Canada it is probably more a case of demanding churches accept them (as in their church God accept their sexuality/sexual activity/their legal equality as couples). However what faith groups determine as of their idealism should not be a matter of what is imposed on them via law of the state. For then there is no freedom (if religion also in political conformity etc).

    Faith groups seem to need an exemption from having to provide use of their (religious purpose use) property under general non discrimination law. I am not sure though that is marriage law turf alone.

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  83. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott, seems a simple amendment could be proposed to marriage law – that a church shall not be required to allow the use of its religious use property for marriages by non church celebrants.

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  84. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC, I am not sure I understand your point. Religious freedom includes the ability to promote one’s religious ethics publicly and conduct one’s private affairs in accordance with the same.

    In terms of legal concepts, do you accept that freedom of religion is wider (though it includes) freedom of worship?

    My view is simple. Some religious groups fear there will be some level of persecution – however soft – of their organisations if they do not bend to modern ideas about what marriage. They look to Parliament’s reaction to the CoEs decision not to ordain women to episcopate and see that religious exemptions are fragile when politicians claim absolute sovereignty over every area of civil society. Overseas experience tells us that those fears are not unreasonable.

    It is also not unreasonable to believe that many people who support gay marriage, while ostentatiously claiming to defend religious liberty, will be lackluster when the time comes to stick up for unfashionable minorities.

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  85. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Well, we were thinking about not letting the kids walk to school tomorrow because after reading some comments above

    1. They may get run over by homo’s rushing around planning their nuptials.
    2. They may get approached and be seduced into a homo life style while walking along Mt Albert Road ( it happens you know!!!!!)
    3. Sociatal break down may be so extreme that all utilities may crash and nothing will work.
    but then again,

    .. the sun will come up for the majority of us.
    …tomorrow will be the same as today excpt that its called Thursday rather than Wednesday.

    so it’ll be off to school you little shits, I just hope that you are not beseiged by the hateful, the intolerant and the ignorant, not to mention the out and out liars out there who continue to make shit up in an attempt to justify their weak position.

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  86. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Paul East Bay, the voice of moderation-

    “so it’ll be off to school you little shits, I just hope that you are not beseiged by the hateful, the intolerant and the ignorant, not to mention the out and out liars out there who continue to make shit up in an attempt to justify their weak position.”

    Well calling people – hateful little shits and liars, among other things, is in itself a little bit hateful don’t you think?

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  87. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Scott – fundamentalism will do that to you – and liberal fundamentalism is no different than any other kind.

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  88. Parlyguy (22 comments) says:

    @pauleastbay – ironically I have to ask – are you naturally an intolerant dickhead or do you take a pill in the morning?

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  89. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    My last post on this, off to an appointment. The exemption in the bill only covers licensed ministers of religion. It does not cover marriage celebrants. So a Christian marriage celebrant or indeed a marriage celebrant of another faith, would be required to perform a same-sex marriage if asked. They could not refuse on the grounds of conscientious objection to gay marriage.

    So marriage celebrants who do not agree with same-sex marriage will either have to toe the line against their own conscience or get out of the marriage celebrant business.

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  90. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Help, the baptists are after me aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh

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  91. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, my points

    1. the USA use of law is by both sides against the other – tit for tat. They are both in the wrong
    2. In Canada the activists are using non discriminatory use of property law to impose on churches – the rest is my way of saying what you said “Religious freedom includes the ability to promote one’s religious ethics publicly and conduct one’s private affairs in accordance with the same”

    As for the UK, there is no lesson in it’s affairs for anyone else, never has been. Though its record of intolerance against the faiths of others, as to supremacism and laws against (relgious free speech) blasphemy is a warning. Any church dependent on state status (formed to serve a King’s marriage bed and succession, not God) privilege is not of God, it’s just another institution of this world.

    I do find it unreasonable to presume that those who support gay marriage, are in providing some protections for religous groups are somehow “ostentatiously claiming to defend religious liberty” – their actions are what they are. All minorites are unfashionable, that is what human rights law is about. The rights we defend of others are rights, we are also defending for ourself.

    There is the classic line used to explain the 1930’s events in Germany and rephrased many times since. So here is one more.

    First they came for the Jew and I was not a Jew, then for the communist but I was not a communist, then for the homosexual and the prosittute but I was not a homosexual or prostitute, then they came for the civil libertarian and human rights activist as they had resisted this earlier, but I was not a civil libertarian and human rights activist, and by the time they came for anyone who dared not join the Nazi Party it was too late, we had already joined.

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  92. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    “The exemption in the bill only covers licensed ministers of religion. It does not cover marriage celebrants.

    I think Scott is misreading the clause. It doesn’t just cover ministers of religion.

    Without limiting the generality of subsection (1),
    no celebrant who is a minister of religion recognised by a religious body enumerated in Schedule 1,
    and no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation,
    is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene
    the religious beliefs of the religious body
    or the religious beliefs
    or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.

    That specifically includes non-minister celebrants.

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  93. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott, not so the proposed legislation (as it now stands)

    “Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), no celebrant who is a minister of religion recognised by a religious body enumerated in Schedule 1, and no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation, is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.

    Thus it covers ministers of religion not just Christianity and includes celebrants of other (approved) organisations – thus Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists etc.

    Sure it does not cover individual celebrants, who can always be too busy at that time if they do not want to officiate at any particular ceremony. Are these celebrants required to officiate every time they are approached now?

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  94. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Rhodie (14) Says:

    February 27th, 2013 at 3:47 pm
    What a sad indictment on our society when a minority of poofters …..

    No intolerance or ignorance here. !!!!! Rhodie you sad sack, the minority won’t get this bill passed, it will be by a majority of our Parliament voting for it. By the way, its such a trivial matter I hope it takes up fuck all time and they can get on with more serious stuff.

    The good thing is , I will be able to amuse myself for the next several hours mocking those who think of lawyers, cops ,business leaders , truck drivers, etc only as ‘poofters” rather than realising their sexuality is only a small part of their lives. Then again Rhodie you sound like a real lady killer mate and your hetrosexuality will be defining you I can see it now.

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  95. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    I’d love to be in the courtroom the first time a court has to decide whether solemnizing a gay marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body a minister belongs to.

    But since we’re not in the US, probably nobody will ever sue over this.

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  96. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    “heard hundreds of submissions”
    They heard about 1% of all submissions and shamelessly rushed through the process, taking only 6 months, including their summer break and a week off for waitangi day.
    The paid parental leave bill is spending 12 months being considered by a select committee and will have less impact on New Zealand than re-defining the meaning of marriage.

    Marriage like sexual intercourse involves a man and a woman. No doubt plans are afoot to redefine sexual intercourse to accommodate the homosexual lobby.

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  97. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Scott –

    Just to confirm, your suggested solution is that marriage celebrants who have a conscientious objection contrive at ‘being too busy’ – dishonestly if need be – to avoid ceremonies that violate their conscience.

    As to the US example – where and when have conservative groups used lawsuits to attack gay advocacy groups? The thing about the culture war, if there is a culture war, is that there is plainly one side who is the aggressor.

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  98. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    bringbackdemocracy (147) Says:

    February 27th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    …….taking only 6 months,

    thats the crying shame, 6 months wasted. I remember when homosexual acts were legalised, the world was going to end, hell fire and brimstone was going to rain upon all the land and all the seas – whats happened since?,- we’ve had two decent recessions , a couple of wars but even the most virilent anti- homo anything would strugggle to blame all that on the homo’s. This just shows what a sad wee country we are when something this minor can take so much time up involving our Parliamentarians ( given most of them do nothing, but still)

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  99. Sofia (857 comments) says:

    … no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation, is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.

    So a celebrant may not decline on his or her own volition, but must know what the position is of the religious body they belong to. So that will be simple for a Roman Catholic celebrant, but a Presbyterian will now have to have a declaration from the Synod, one assumes, as to what the position is of the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand.

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  100. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    The pending passage of this bill is a victory for authentic democracy, meaningful religious freedom, faith/state seperation, human rights and civil liberties. As is the case in France, Scotland, England and Wales. And might I recommend those who can’t stomach that situation goosestep off to somewhere more befitting their temperament, like Uganda, Nigeria, and all the rest of the defective, dysfunctional fraternity of states that enshrine homophobia and transphobia in statute or constitution?

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  101. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wjv6kljevzyy7g8/Gay%202.gif

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  102. Tauhei Notts (1,714 comments) says:

    Marriage is a contract between man and woman.
    The political party that votes that way can depend upon my support, which will be in money terms.
    Even if that party want to grab heaps of my dough and give it to the Maori people. That is how strongly I feel about this matter. No, I am not a god botherer. I do business with a number of queers. We then argue, in a pissed state, about Wairarapa versus Central Otago pinot noir.
    This matter is the bedrock. It is non negotiable.

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  103. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Cato, the comments about marriage celebrants being too busy came from SPC and not me. Regarding the question of the persecution of marriage celebrants the exemption covers only those part of approved organisations. So it covers for example an Anglican who performs weddings as part of his church duties but is not actually an ordained minister.
    But individual marriage celebrants will have no freedom of conscience under the bill. They need to marry gays upon request or face prosecution.

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  104. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    Actually more to the point for Anglicans, Scott is that they are even now drafting a ceremony for this thing but will allow those ministers within their denomination who abhor this travesty to opt out.

    But the denomination under the law ………..

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  105. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott, employers and landlords are supposed to decide hiring and renting without discrimination too but few are prosecuted for age discrimination or whatever. As for individual celebrants, they are contract workers – are they obliged to accept all offers of work?

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  106. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC – the issue is can they legally refuse, for the stated reason that they object to the marriage, and not violate the Human Rights Act 1993 (or the NZBORA)?

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  107. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    bringbackdemocracy

    Saying that marriage like sexual intercourse involves a man and a woman is like saying that the people ruled by the King are of the religion of the King – because that was the (city/nation/empire’s) religious cult of the time.

    As for redefining sexual intercourse – no.

    Though Kenneth Starr tried to claim oral sex was sexual intercourse to prove that Clinton lied when he said he did not have sex with that women, or was it the POTUS when claiming oral discourse address to a woman was not sex…. .

    The real issue is what defines adultery and or extra marital infidelity in those jurisdictions that still have grounds for divorce (rather than separation as we do).

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  108. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    When Civil Unions were legislated for, there was scoffing from liberals at the suggestion that gay marriage would be next… and yet here we are.

    These are the same people who now scoff at the idea that objecting ministers will be targeted and forced to officiate.

    These are the same people who now scoff at the suggestion that polygamy and polyandry are next.

    Charitably, they are naive.

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  109. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Andrei, thus no Anglican minister here in New Zealand would be obliged to perform these marriages, even if others could/did. Thus the local Anglican Church secures religious objection rights for ministers.

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  110. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    ChardonayGuy – boy, you are insufferable.

    “And might I recommend those who can’t stomach that situation goosestep off to somewhere more befitting their temperament, like Uganda, Nigeria, and all the rest of the defective, dysfunctional fraternity of states that enshrine homophobia and transphobia in statute or constitution?”

    In other words, “If you are a traditionalist who opposes this radical shift in social attitudes [and whether con or pro, it's been an undeniably rapid change] then you’re not welcome in the new-New Zealand and I invite you to march off, like the Nazi’s I am comparing you to, to a less-enlightened Africa because there is no place in the modern world for people who don’t celebrate homosexuality – as we all know that to not give positive recognition to something and merely tolerating it is exactly the same as positively persecuting it.”

    You are like a parody of the soft-authoritarianism that is so obnoxiously pervasive. I am an agnostic on the matter of gay marriage as a civil matter but it is shrill judgementalism like this really puts me off.

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  111. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, “can they legally refuse, for the stated reason that they object to the marriage, and not violate the Human Rights Act 1993 (or the NZBORA)”?

    I am sure employers and landlords have made decisions that breach discrimination criteria without saying this was why they did so.

    Celebrants are not full time workers, they are contractors – free to work whatever hours they want, officiate when they want – not whenever someone approaches them. Trying to prove that a celebrant refused a booking because it was a same sex one would be difficult.

    And the right of consience of the celebrant would come into reckoning.

    Besides some would advertise as being willing to do the same sex ceremonies to get the business.

    Only someone who flat out said they would refuse all same sex marriages could have their job as a celebrant at risk. This would be the greater risk for celebrants – not from the court but from government (and they then using the courts to restrain government).

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  112. Reid (16,471 comments) says:

    If you wanted an indication that isn’t and never has been about human wights, it is the fact gay adoption is in the bill BUT WAS NEVER DISCUSSED AT ALL EVER BY ANY OF THE PROPONENTS during the last 12-18 months.

    This omission shows it is a cynical political calculation foisted upon the politically ignorant population by a tiny cabal of evil black-hearted calculating scum ably assisted by a somewhat larger but still small politically aware population who aren’t evil but are idiots.

    For the evil black-hearted calculating scum know that if they had told the politically ignorant majority gay adoption was at stake, it would have been a much, much harder road to hoe in fact if they had been upfront about it, I doubt there would have been a parliamentary majority for it today.

    But fuck the children, the orphans, the helpless. Fuck them. Who cares about them? It’s not about them, it’s about poisoning long-standing social institutions and if orphans get damaged in the process, who gives a fuck?

    This is what the politically aware useless moron idiots who think this is about human wights have supported, whether they know it or not. Congratulations you guys, hope you sleep well, thinking about all those orphans you’ve condemned with your mindless drop-dead moronic idiocy.

    Of the many issues American billionaires have used to implement this strategy, two deserve special mention for the remarkable skill with which they have been employed: same-sex marriage and gun control. Your American colleagues used their mass media to elevate the issue of same-sex marriage from virtual non-existence (who even thought about men marrying men or women marrying women back in the 1960s?) to a question that vies for top place on the agenda of public discourse, with laws enacted to make it legal in several states and more than 30 state referenda on the question. Your colleagues didn’t just make same-sex marriage an issue, they also cleverly framed the question in precisely the right manner to make the divide-and-rule strategy work. They did not frame it in the terms that all past debates about marriage legislation have been framed, i.e., in terms of the consequences for the children who may be produced by this or that type of marriage, such as sibling marriage or, in the past before there was a cure, marriage involving a partner with syphilis. No, they very wisely framed it in terms that had nothing whatsoever to do with the welfare of children. They framed it as a question of rights: should gays be denied their right to marry–yes or no?

    Brilliant! Conservatives who thought children had a right to know and be known by their biological mother and father, and that social policy should be designed to protect this right, and who objected to same-sex marriage on the grounds that it would promote the use of sperm or egg donor conception (the only way a same-sex couple can produce a child) thus creating children who by design would not know and be known by one of their biological parents–these conservatives NPR etc. portrayed as people who did not want gays to enjoy their “right to marry,” and as irrational Bible Fundamentalist homophobic bigots. NPR etc. carefully censored any expressions of concern for the rights of children by opponents of same-sex marriage. In a display of wonderful teamwork, the conservative mass media also censored expressions of concern for the rights of childen by opponents of same-sex marriage. The entire mass media did this so effectively that liberals are totally unaware that concern for children has anything whatsoever to do with why people object to same-sex marriage. Liberals believe the only possible explanation is dumb, stupid, hateful “homophobia.”

    Conservatives, in turn, hear their concern for children dismissed as bigotry by the liberals and react just as the divide-and-rule strategy requires: with anger at the elitist arrogant condescension of liberals. One can only admire the billionaire agents who crafted this same-sex marriage divide-and-rule scheme.

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  113. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC – I agree. The difference is that I think that is problematic. You’re not really free if you have to practice your freedom in secret.

    I say this with extreme caution, but it’s a bit like the abortion issue in this country. Currently, the law provides for medical abortion. In practice, it is available on demand – which is probably what most New Zealanders want (if not the writer). So abortionists just contrive a mental health issue every time they want to perform an abortion on a healthy pregnant woman.

    Doesn’t that bother you?

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  114. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    But individual marriage celebrants will have no freedom of conscience under the bill. They need to marry gays upon request or face prosecution.

    Prosecuted for what?

    I presume if it was actually possible it’s possible now. Are there any examples of celebrants being prosecuted for turning down a marriage gig? Or are you suggesting only gays would try something like that?

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  115. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    PG –

    Since the Marriage Act hasn’t been amended yet – I don’t really find it surprising that there haven’t been any prosecutions yet. However, I would submit that a celebrant who opposed miscegenation would be acting in breach of section 19(1) of the Bill of Rights Act 1990 on the basis they are an agent of the state. Once the Marriage Act is amended, the same reasoning would apply (notwithstanding that race and sexuality are not really the same thing – they are both included in the HRA 1993 protected classes).

    Looking at the characterisation of a celebrant as being just a private contractor then by turning down a “marriage gig” they could be breaching section 44 of the Human Rights Act 1993 – and be dragged through the human rights star chamber.

    Currently, neither option is available because NZ conforms the world-historical consensus on the fundamentally conjugal meaning of marriage.

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  116. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, as far as I know there have been no problems with civil unions but even so I don’t have any problem with individual celebrants being given clear right of conscience in legislation on when they officiate.

    Has there ever been any medical practioner opposed to abortion involved in their delivery in New Zealand? On the two faced position – we oppose abortion on demand, we support a womans right to carry or not to carry. We don’t yet have the tech to incubate the pre born to reconcile the two.

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  117. wat dabney (3,769 comments) says:

    And we’ll all look back in 10 or 20 years and wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Unless the whole planet has been flooded by an angry magic pixie of course.

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  118. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, if civil unions were not the same as marriage under the HRA, then was there equality in law with civil unions?

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  119. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    …NZ conforms the world-historical consensus on the fundamentally conjugal meaning of marriage.

    Actually not, NZ civil marriages involve three parties. The third one is the one you get the licence from.

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  120. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC – I am genuinely unsure about that. I do think that civil unions are less problematic, however, in that they are clearly positive law creations. Marriage, on the other hand, predates formal law and the state. It is a natural institution (which is why some religious people believe it do be ordained) and so I think we are more likely to have issues with the latter – though that’s not a given of course. Remember, civil union celebrants can’t solemnise marriage and vice versa – and its hard to see a traditional christian signing up to be one.

    I actually see the greater risk as being the gradual and eventual stripping of religious liberties altogether – which, if ti happens, is likely to be a gradual process.

    Actually, I basically agree with Wat Dabney. Civilisations don’t last forever, remember. I think future generations will look back and say, “The Western world faced so much peril and crisis it could control – so why did it spend so much time trying to pass absurd laws so at odds with nature. No wonder it declined”.

    I have no idea if that will happen in the next 10, 50, 100, or 250 years – but given the weight of the history we are pushing against – I feel sure it will happen eventually.

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  121. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    @SPC “if civil unions were not the same as marriage under the HRA, then was there equality in law with civil unions?”

    I’m not sure what you mean. As civil unions are open to homosexual couples, I am not sure a civil union celebrant could refuse to perform one – on the basis of their objection to homosexuality.

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  122. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    @UglyTruth – “Actually not, NZ civil marriages involve three parties. The third one is the one you get the licence from.”

    I’m not sure I take your meaning. In NZ there are two parties to a marriage – one male, one female. Prior to 1888, some Maori chiefs practiced a limited form of Polygamy – but like everywhere in the world, stretching back to the earliest recorded human societies, these marriages involved the presence of complementary sexes.

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  123. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    I have no idea if that will happen in the next 10, 50, 100, or 250 years

    We have maybe 20 years – the problem is an aging population which is known about but swept under the rug. In about 15 years or so their will be 2 working age folk for every one over the age of 65 and that my friend is unworkable.

    Euthenasia might be deployed to help fix it though, Eutheasia is on the agenda.

    Japan, Korea and Russia are awake to this – you wont see gay marriage anytime soon in those lands, Russia in particular has turned its birthrate around whether or not it is too late remains to be seen

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  124. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    reid, when parliament challenged the King’s autocracy in 1640, they did not think about extending the franchise to those whom they asked to fight in their army and then they wonder how Crowwell could become dictator. When the Americans determined on a democratic form of government back in the 18thC, they did not even consider whether blacks or women or Indians should have a vote too. The operative word is consequences.

    Once same sex activity was no longer criminalised or grounds for being locked up for treatment and cure, they could become part of our culture – they could partner, they could become activists for their human rights – seek equality.

    Rich capitalists are not behind promotion of same sex marriages – they are too busy focused on protecting their own interests to involve themselves in these matters, thus activists can have influence instead. The idea of freedom of choice is not anathema to the market theory that advantages themselves (those with capital). But this is not a ground for conspiracy theory.

    Cameron and Key are just trying to walk the walk of a free market right wingers and they cannot do that and deny people can make their own choices on who they marry.

    Blaming the Soviets for feminism (read Mary Wollstonecraft – she wrote in 1793) and now international capitalists for same sex marriages. Is there no conspiracy theory beneath you?

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  125. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Andrei –

    Well, where you and I agree is that there is no real appetite for these changes anywhere other than in the West. Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, East Asia, South Asia – none of these regions show the slightest democratic appetite for redefining marriage and, given the weight of history (even the gay-friendly civilisations of antiquity could not conceive of same-sex marriage) I don’t think that there’s any reason to assume that other centres of world power will replicate our sensibilities.

    I don’t know when Western Civilisation will come to an end – maybe we will pull off a comeback against demographic and economic pressures. I do know that we won’t go on and on forever, though.

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  126. Sofia (857 comments) says:

    Andrei – Actually more to the point for Anglicans, Scott is that they are even now drafting a ceremony for this thing but will allow those ministers within their denomination who abhor this travesty to opt out.

    that, unfortunately, may not be the case, unless the wording is altered –

    … no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation, is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.

    this seems to indicate the celebrant must follow the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.
    The body decides, not the individual within that body.

    Hence all faiths will probably have to declare somewhere what their position is.
    It would be interesting if all faiths refuse to conduct same sex marriages.

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  127. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, the objective of western civilisation is to form a global one, so as to not to be superceded but contribute to the “new world order” as part of it.

    Thus the UN and World bank and IMF and the SDR of the IMF as the basis of a world currency. That debate might however be between the interests of private oligarchic capital in the West and state capital elsewhere with the people not really consulted but as a fait acompli after the deals are done.

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  128. MrTips (97 comments) says:

    I want to know what the 2,898 “unique” contributions to the Select Committee were: for or against?

    And then I want to know why the Committee saw fit not to reveal that information in their report.

    It certainly confirms no-one on that Committee can count.

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  129. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Sofia, if legislation allows the organisation to decide for its ministers whether they perform same sex marriages or not and the organisation decides to leave it to individual ministers rather than decide one policy for all – then they have had their right of individual conscience secured by their faith group. They are not “required” to perform same sex ceremonies – not by their church nor by law.

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  130. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Mr Tips

    on frogblog Kevin Hague says “the submissions were roughly evenly split, with a small majority in favour of the Bill”.

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  131. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    What I don’t understand in this discussion is, if you are gay, you’re gay. With or without marriage, you are still not going to get out there and procreate, unless you want to find inventive ways about it.

    The worlds population is not going to be altered by this decision. Gay men are not going to suddenly be attracted to woman if the bill isn’t passed and lesbian’s are not going to suddenly want a man. Apart from having a whole lot of people who need whatever ‘marriage’ gives them to be happier, nothing about people’s sexuality will change.

    You are what you are, and no marriage certificate will change who turns you on.

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  132. MrTips (97 comments) says:

    SPC
    that tells us nothing.

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  133. wat dabney (3,769 comments) says:

    Where does the rot stop? Homosexual adoption? Polygamy? Bestiality?

    Worse: There is new pressure to allow Catholic Priests to marry.

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  134. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    More than 21,530 submissions were received – 10,487 in favour and 8148 against.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/8358624/Gay-marriage-law-inches-closer

    Kevin Hague said most of the form submissions came from the Family First source – opposed and within the against total.

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  135. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Judith – I personally couldn’t agree more. In of itself, gay marriage will change very little. Where I think there is a genuine concern is that it will provide a final ratification on the modern reconception of marriage. That it is oriented towards adult happiness, a fancy ceremony, and the trappings of social approval – instead of a family and generational oriented duty.

    When gay marriage proponents point out that there have been many reforms that have been damaging to that conception of marriage in a quantitative sent (no fault divorce, cohabitation etc), gay marriage is so qualitatively contrary to traditional marriage that it represents a real point of no return. This may or may not have already been passed, but traditionalists are under no requirement to welcome all errors just because some errors have already taken hold.

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  136. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    wat dabney, old news – if marriage is an option for gays there might be fewer entries from them into the seminary. Then they will have to allow married priests to maintain numbers.

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  137. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, there is “family and generational orientated duty” within same sex partnerships now – marriage rights only confirm that.

    “Adult happiness, a fancy ceremony, and the trappings of social approval” occur with those marriages where there is no childbirth (intended or otherwise) and second marriages when parties already have children and later life marriages.

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  138. wat dabney (3,769 comments) says:

    old news

    “Christians” can be infinitely flexible when it comes to redefining marriage to suit their own purposes, but be there nothing so evil as any definition which contradicts them.

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  139. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Cato (242) Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I understand what you say, however, I think the marriage has ceased being what it was intended to be.
    Long gone are the days when the ‘virgin’ married her (also virgin) husband, and slept together for the first time and stayed together until death. Many couples already have children (either together or from former relationships). Modern marriage appears to fulfill some kind of contract that provides emotional security and is legally binding, but this is about the only similarity.

    I don’t think this bill will alter any of that. Who knows, it may actually do the opposite, and promote marriage as the ‘ultimate’ commitment between loving couples. Some how I doubt it though. We, as a society have a long way to go, before we develop the skills necessary to ensure the survival of humankind as a species. Gay marriage is not going to influence that in any way.

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  140. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SPC – again, I don’t take your point. Marriage is, or was, first and foremost oriented towards the rearing of children – that’s why it never been open to pair-types who can never reproduce (as opposed to pair-types who normatively can and do reproduce). Everything else was always secondary to that. It organically emerged because men and women are different and children need the protection of both mothers and fathers whenever this is available.

    It’s undeniable that the language of gay marriage, and gay adoption, inverts traditional priorities. Whether this is a good or at least harmless thing is an open question.

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  141. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    Cato, there is “family and generational orientated duty” within same sex partnerships now – marriage rights only confirm that.

    What total bullshit it takes one man and woman to create a child – two men can’t do it nor can two woman.

    Kids with two moms are being lied too and cheated of their birthright to a FATHER by the total selfishness of their two moms

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  142. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Judith – I agree with you. At least in terms of direct effect anyway – if for no other reason than because homosexuals are such a small minority. Moreover, the number who get married are likely to be a minority within a minority.

    But if you believe that its a mistake to see marriage primarily in terms of romantic love is an error, there’s no reason to support furtherance of that error by acceding to its ultimate expression.

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  143. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    There is new pressure to allow Catholic Priests to marry.

    The language of slaves.

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  144. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Cato (244) Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Whilst I personally see it currently in terms of romantic love, I also accept that for some it offers a sense of security and therefore assists in their overall happiness. I’m all for anything that provides people with emotional security in current society.

    I don’t have a problem with the option. Took it myself many years ago (because it was the ‘done’ thing to do in my family and in doing so everyone was more secure regarding my future and the future of any new generations). Personally, I don’t think the fact I married added anything to my life personally that could not have been achieved without it. My husband of course felt differently, but then he got me and a piece of paper to prove it – why wouldn’t he be happy! :-)

    I guess what I am saying is if a persons belief systems are such that marriage provides them with contentment/sense of security because it is in line with their personal/family/cultural values, then why not have it? And why not have it for all consenting adults that want it.

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  145. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Andrei (1,869) Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    having two people that love and care for you, is much better than having one that wants to be there, and the other that doesn’t.

    How many homosexual’s have killed their partner’s children from previous relationships? How many heterosexual’s have killed their partner’s children from previous relationships?

    Admittedly the statistics are weighted but children are better off in loving family’s regardless of the parent’s sexuality.

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  146. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    How many homosexual’s have killed their partner’s children from previous relationships? How many heterosexual’s have killed their partner’s children from previous relationships?

    Who knows Judith, there has been that horrific case where the two homosexuals produced a child with a surrogate and that child starred in kiddie porn along with the “fathers” friends – a story now buried I wonder why.

    Because some relationship s are not ideal does not create a justification for creating new non ideal relationships – that is an empty headed argument

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  147. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Fuck off god botherer, the pope is calling you to a pedofest.

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  148. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I think the point is that there’s no reason to presuppose that a given gay couple would – on the basis of media stereotypes – be better parents than a traditional couple. From what I can tell, the hard data on how kids do in these families is mixed. That may always be the case because the sample sizes are too small and too often self-selecting. The Regnerus study was interesting – but all it really proved was that people are quick to praise or disparage studies based on their preconceptions.

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  149. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Fuck off god botherer. The pipe is running a good parenting course.

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  150. Reid (16,471 comments) says:

    I guess what I am saying is if a persons belief systems are such that marriage provides them with contentment/sense of security because it is in line with their personal/family/cultural values, then why not have it?

    Judith your view is common, but ignorant.

    It’s ignorant because it fails to recognise what marriage represents as a social institution.

    Your view which as I say is common, hallucinates that the whole marriage deal takes place between the participants of any given instantiation of it at any given moment in time.

    While you’re not wrong, your concept of marriage is incomplete. “The whole marriage deal” is the point. And the whole marriage deal is what the collective consciousness of a segment of humanity regard it as. And this transcends an individual instantiation of it and sums up all marriages across any given civilisation, say for example, in Western society, all Western societies. And this view is the only view that is relevant, when you talk and think about what same-sex marriage represents. Because this is the view that is being affected.

    Sadly almost no-one sees this fact, and it is a fact. They don’t see it because they think like you, in the immediate time and place, where who cares if a handful of gays get married today? It’s only when your mind projects several generations into the future, across all Western societies, that you see the arena where this policy is aimed at.

    The double-whammy is that not only must you take this kind of view, which few do, you also must be aware of the mechanisms of social engineering and how they operate, because those mechanisms only operate in this arena, nowhere else, and that’s why they pass most people by, because most people don’t recognise the decade-by-decade slowly slowly slice the elephant changes, until they wake up now and then and look back say forty years and think gee, it never used to be like this, what happened?

    You will never understand same-sex marriage unless and until you look at it with that view and with that knowledge of social engineering. The gay married couple living next door today has nothing whatsoever to do with this issue, and they never have. That’s the fundamental mistake most people who have judged this issue have made, because that’s the basis they’ve judged it on.

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  151. Chuck Bird (4,889 comments) says:

    This might be what you are thinking of Andrei

    THE GAYING OF AMERICA
    The iniquity of homosexual child porn
    Exclusive: Bradlee Dean covers arrest of San Fran activist possessing horrific images
    Published: 06/28/2012 at 6:51 PM
    Read more at

    http://mobile.wnd.com/2012/06/the-iniquity-of-homosexual-child-porn/#KuvC6cxB5gWQXFoP.99

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  152. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Praise be the hundreds of years of church sanctioned child rape.

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  153. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Cato

    Your argument doesn’t make sense.

    Every civilization prior to our civilization has faded away. If – as you assert – human socities have only recognised ‘traditional’ marriage between men and women, then it’s pretty clear that ‘traditional’ marriage has no bearing on the long term viability of a civilization.

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  154. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Expat – what has that got to do with anything? Even if one accepts your unqualified characterisation – and I don’t – tu quoque arguments are logical fallacies.

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  155. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Chuck Bird

    Are you sure he wasn’t thinking of this case?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/roman-catholic-deacon-faces-child-porn-charges/article6698926/

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  156. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Gump –

    I actually agree with that – and always have. I don’t think gay marriage will be a direct cause of much of anything.

    Moreover, I actually think it is a cop out to believe in something because you want to be on the ‘right side of history’ – the idea of which is a Marxist construct anyway. It was lame then and it is lame now. You should support a policy because you think it is right or wrong – not because you’ve got an eye on posterity.

    However, I do think that gay-marriage proponents appeals to the opinions of future opinion is flawed, based as it is on the false assumption that all social change is linear. One day Western Civilisation will collapse or be eclipsed. I don’t know when – or what will follow – but I am willing to bet that future civilisations will look upon our preoccupation with this issue as a curiosity (at best). And I don’t think they’ll emulate us.

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  157. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Offs the god botherers rant about logical argument, when will then idiocy stop.

    Go back to bronze age superstition and paedophilia.

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  158. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Who knows where all this will end? Marriage is in trouble sure. It’s in trouble because of the sexual revolution which has undermined the values of monogamy, fidelity and chastity that underpin marriage. People live together, copulate with people they have just met and fall in and out of relationships with startling frequency.

    Gay marriage adds to the decline. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. It involves ordinary sexual intercourse, it is monogamous and it is life long. The couple promises to look after each other and any children that may ensue.
    Gay marriage is not between a man and a woman, it does not involve sexual intercourse, it cannot naturally conceive children. Based on the British legislation it will not be expected to be monogamous. So it has none of the essence of marriage. It is a travesty of legislation that can only continue to hasten the demise of an institution that has existed since time immemorial.

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  159. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    Actually I’m thinking of this case

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120209/gay-sex-pornography-child-abuse-surrogacy-russia

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  160. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    It’s just that I don’t understand. Granted, I hold some religious beliefs – and accordingly I understand the importance that religion plays in many people’s lives. But I am not overtly religious in my day-to-day life and I don’t appeal directly to religion in matters of public policy because I recognise that in a pluralistic society positive laws need to be grounded in reason more than faith.

    And yet, because I am sceptical of gay marriage because a) I do worry about balancing the rights of Catholics, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims and others to participate in public life and b) because I am generally sceptical about overthrowing longstanding and tested norms on the basis of abstract ideas – I am required to “back to bronze age superstition and paedophilia.”

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  161. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Let’s talk about hundreds of years of church sanctioned child rape. Go Christianity. Go.

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  162. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    You know Cato every single religion you named would agree that marriage is between a man and a woman, though Muslims might allow for polygamy – Gay “marriage is a purely secular construct.

    And anthropologists would tell you that when societies consider something sacred it is because it is something important to the ongoing well being of that society

    Thus I put it to you the sacred nature that Christianity has ascribed to marriage as we have received it is because of its importance to the persistance of our societies.

    This thing is very wrong, very very wrong

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  163. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Wery wery wrong, wery wrong.

    What a wanker.

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  164. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I agree – as one American libertain put it: “Conjugal, natural marriage is a pre-political realitiy that has long predated any existing government. Until the government started actively attacking marriage in the last 60 years by removing its most basic features, natural marriage could function with a relatively lean structure of law.”

    What I fail to see is what that has to do with the sins of Christian clergy.

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  165. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Religion is a bronze age construct invented to provide societal structure for the uneducated, insecure and primitive tribal peoples. What do you reckon that says about those you lean on the crutch in the 21st C?

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  166. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    And you expat are a moron – you don’t have a single intelligent thing to say and you have filled this thread with dribble

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  167. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Ha ha, god bother, pot kettle black. Go back too your bronze age boogawooga superstition. Destiny are you? What do u pay to the the head boogawooga?

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  168. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Expat if you want to convince me that religion is a crutch – and I’m open to that if reason persuades – then please tell me why the quinque viae don’t make a persuasive case for the existence of monotheistic God – be it 5,000 B.C., 1,000 A.D. or 2100 A.D.?

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  169. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Boogawooga. You people are primitives.

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  170. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    expat – your contributions are usually a little more considered, but since joining tonight you’ve done little but attack the messenger with an sad array of ad hominem’s. Rest up and get well soon.

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  171. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Right. Well must be going.

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  172. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    I’m just lowering myself to the idiotic level of the god botherers. Bronze age superstition is pretty stupid so I hear you.

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  173. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    expat – I’m one of your ‘god botherers’, and you would appear to be an atheist. That’s cool. Folks from the Bronze Age – and more recently – kill for less of a difference, but in the 21st we engage in civil dialog. Now, who’s contribution here looks more Bronze Age?

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  174. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    When I hear more erudite arguments than ‘men and women fuck and that is the basis of trad marriage’ among other things. Democracy is a bitch huh.

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  175. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    When I hear more erudite arguments than ‘men and women fuck and that is the basis of trad marriage’

    But nobody has made that argument – rather the argument is that men and women make babies together, a scientific observation rather than a religious argument.

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  176. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Cato, there is no evidence that marriage pre-dated government. Marriage by its nature requires recognised celebrants, ceremony and separate status from de facto couples/concubines and the like – these only a group provides. You have to distinguish group from government to make the claim you did.

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  177. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Scott, in practice marriage as the practice of lifelong monogamy is now practiced only by a minority. Contraception ended it that form. It was superceded by our growth in knowledge – marriage as a form of partnership in which children are raised up is still practiced by the majority.

    Now that pregnancy is a choice, not a consequence of sexual activity – it is something both heterosexual and same sex couples can organise.

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  178. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    If you were to reseach your ancestry SPC, depending where you originate of course, you would look in Parish registers kept by the Church and not by the Government to trace your details.

    It was only when the Government started assigning benefits to those married that the registers were centralized by Government and thus began the slow degradation of the institution.

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  179. Yvette (2,821 comments) says:

    There doesn’t seem to be a word yet for ‘gay or same sex marriage’ – like ‘married’ – but actually saying what it is, without using a few more words to actually say what it is.

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  180. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Andrei, group society established marriage, religion takes over culture as part of establishing more entrenched government. Such as claiming its authority extends beyond life on earth to determining access to after life in heavan.

    Marriage was necessary to determine status/legitimacy for inheritance. Thus was part of the development of the notion of private property separate from group property – as recognised by the group. Marriage was useful in forming inter-group alliances – whether families/clans/tribes (or royal dynastic alliances).

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  181. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Andrei, were the days when people had to ask permission to have their marriage annulled before they could re-marry were the heyday of the marriage bed institution? Those days came with a lack of religious freedom – some risk of persecution.

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  182. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Andrei, yes they did

    9.46pm “Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. It involves ordinary sexual intercourse”

    And you ran the old ‘homos are kiddy fiddlers’ line.

    Clap clap.

    Bronze.age.superstition.booga.wooga.

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  183. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Andrei

    The reason that churches kept registers of marriage was so that non-married couples could be shamed and persecuted by the church authorities.

    Fortunately we have now moved beyond that.

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  184. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Sounds like Russia gump.

    Perhaps the fundies can all go and live there with like minded folk

    http://global.christianpost.com/news/russia-to-push-bill-criminalizing-homosexual-propaganda-90845/

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  185. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Priest got your tongue Andrei?

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  186. Matthew Flannagan (76 comments) says:

    The people who “feared” that the law meant ministers being compelled to marry included Paul Rishworth and the Law society.

    But this “clause” is clearly poor. It does not prevent ministers from being compelled to marry contrary to there beliefs, what its states is that a minister cannot be compelled to marry on behalf of a church or organisation if that organisation opposes same sex marriage on religious grounds.

    There are obvious problems with this, first what about churches which have a liberal and conservative wing, where some ministers oppose and some dont and the denomination is undecided. Pretty obvious, the church does not have position so the exemption does not apply. Or consider another likely situation a conservative denomination which does not have a position on homosexual marriage in its official belief statement, again probably common given that belief statements are generally short and spell out essential doctrines. Again the exemption would appear to not apply. Moreover what about a situation in a church where the liberals argue the doctrinal statement does not condemn homosexual marriage and the conservatives say it does. Is the court going to rule on which interpretation is correct to determine if the law has been breached.

    Its hard to believe any sensible MP supports this exception clause.

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