Future issues

Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:

Gay adoption and euthanasia are among the final social frontiers for our parliament to cross. They’re both on the political agenda and politicians are ready and bracing for the onslaught.

Actually so called gay adoption has been already dealt with. Gay married couples can now jointly adopt. Before the passage of Louisa Wall’s bill, a gay man or woman could adopt – but only by themselves, not as a couple.

So there is no gay adoption debate to be had – it has occurred.

Now that same-sex marriage is out of the way – as far as Parliament is concerned – those from both sides of that debate are keen to take a well-deserved rest but with bills on gay adoption and euthanasia waiting to be drawn from the member’s ballot it could be a short-lived break from heated debate.

There is a bill on adoption, but as I said the issue of same sex couples being able to adopt has been dealt with. The Adoption Act is 50 years out of date and massively needs reform – but the debate will not be on whether same sex couples can adopt as Parliament amended the law to allow that just a few weeks ago.

Conservative lobbyists and church groups, so vocal in opposition to same-sex marriage, say they’re ready to take up the placards again, but they are miffed that it’s all been left to them.

Baptist national leader Craig Vernall said middle New Zealand had been “gutless” in its approach to the Marriage Act.

“We’re left to represent the majority views in many respects because people are intimidated . . . people just hide, they go underground, they don’t want to be labelled homophobic. It seems if you’re opposed to gay marriage you’re just branded and labelled homophobic, should be shot, that’s the view the media paints.”

Actually, not the majority view. Every scientific poll has shown more people in favour of same sex marriage, than against.

The men honoured on Anzac Day would be deeply disappointed they had laid down their lives for democracy and the result was decriminalisation of prostitution, legalised gambling, lowering of the drinking age and gay marriage, he says.

Dragging Anzac Day into the debate is pretty stupid. As it happens they did die for NZers to be able to decide their own laws, and of course the laws of 2013 will be different to 1915.

I note the rant against legalised gambling. Can anyone tell me if Baptist church halls have ever been used for bingo nights?

He says the legalisation of gay marriage confirmed National had swung to the left and was no longer a conservative party. Labour was voted out in 2008 for social engineering policies, including legalised prostitution, civil unions, and anti-smacking, but politicians still believed they could introduce such legislation. Family First’s membership quadrupled from 8000 to 32,000 as a result of the marriage debate and they were ready to mobilise their supporters against gay adoption and euthanasia.

I was thinking the other day that the same sex marriage debate must have been a great fund-raiser for Bob!

Agar thinks it might be a bit more complicated than that. Time, he says, can be a great help in adjusting expectations.

“Look at the decriminalisation of prostitution . . . here I am looking out at Kelburn Parade [in Wellington] and it’s not saturated with prostitutes, many of the lewd predictions just didn’t come true.

Of course there are no prostitutes on Kelburn Parade. They couldn’t possibly compete with all the students giving away sex for free! 🙂

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