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  Reply # 788814 28-Mar-2013 17:13
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Klipspringer:
ajobbins:

I cannot and never have been able to choose to live a 'gay lifestyle'. Almost every gay person in the world will assure you that they can't choose to live a 'straight lifestyle' just as almost every straight person in the world (myself and yourself included) concede we cannot choose to live a 'gay lifestyle'.

That's all I have to say on the matter.


The difference in opinions between you and me is simply:

I believe being gay is sinful (IMO). You don't.

There is no need then to further the debate because we are not going to get anywhere.



As a Christian myself I take serious issue with the religious argument against SSM.

The idea of homosexuality being a sin comes from Leviticus 18:22

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.


Sure it is fairly clear but Leviticus also has a whole lot of other laws. For example:


Leviticus 11:7

And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.


Do you eat bacon or any other product from a pig? We should probably make a law about that forbidding that. It's a shame because I love BK's BBQ Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

Here's a good one from Exodus:


Exodus 22:7

And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

As someone who clearly follows all the Old Testament Laws you should be outraged that the state has made it illegal to exercise your right to sell your daughter into slavery and by slavery it also means marriage. So I'm glad to see we still follow that traditional definition of marriage and that hasn't evolved in the tiniest bit.

This is one of my favourites:


Exodus 35:2Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.


Have you ever worked on Sunday? Would you support a law making it illegal to work on Sunday? Obviously we would have to institute the death penalty for people that break the law. In fact it would seem the penalty for death is stricter than that for homosexuality.

I'm also forced to question where you stand on the subject of divorce? The bible is very specific about divorce being unacceptable in the eyes of God. Maybe if those who make such a passionate defence of the sanctity of marriage could start there and solve the 50% failure rate of this most sacred of unions.

One cannot simply pick and choose the parts of the bible they wish to follow especially when they are making judgements on the choices of others and how they live their life.

The New Testament is also very clear about the teachings of Jesus superseding the old Laws.


Matthew 22:35-40

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


To me Christianity is about love for God above all and then for one another. It is not for us to decide how others wish to live their lives. Judgment is for God alone. If what people do or how they choose to live their lives is wrong in the sight of God then there will come a day when they and all of us will have to answer for what we've done.

We are very to lucky to live in a country where we have the ability to free worship or practice our beliefs. But we also have to recognise this is a secular and free country. Where we expect to be given every freedom, others also have that right.

We would not accept others forcing another religion on us, we cannot do that to others who do not share our beliefs. It has to be freedom for all otherwise we live in a theocracy. Separation of church and state protects everyone equally.

Opposing SSM on religious grounds is forcing your beliefs onto someone else and restricting their rights. That goes completely against everything we stand for as Christians. Imagine the shoe was on the other foot and you were told you could no longer openly practise your religion because it offended somebody else.

I personally don't agree with SSM. But I have no doubt that many don't agree with my beliefs and I'm ok with it so long as I remain allowed to have them without restriction I don't see why other people can't make their own choices considering the only people if affects is them.

The other issue is that same sex marriage is purely a legal issue. It confers rights and recognitions hat straight couples have enjoyed. For those that ask why can't be satisfied with civil unions, well as has already been explained that they don't have same recognition. They would also not have the same protection and recognition internationally that a marriage does.

The US Supreme Court challenge to the Defence of Marriage Act is a perfect example of how gay couples do not have the same rights as straight couples.



A day after the court considered whether to overturn California's gay marriage ban, the justices will consider the case of Edie Windsor, who says her 2007 marriage to Thea Spyer should have offered the same federal rights and benefits as a union between a man and a woman.

Windsor and her supporters say section 3 of Doma violates the 14th amendment of the US constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law. The Obama administration said in 2011 it considered the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it, while former president Bill Clinton, who signed the measure into law, has said it should be overturned. Campaigners believe there is a good chance the justices will rule the provisions to be unconstitutional.

Windsor, a former IT worker, met Spyer in 1965. They became engaged in 1967 and finally married in Toronto in 2007. Spyer died in 2009 after battling multiple sclerosis for many years, but, unlike opposite-sex married couples, Windsor was not entitled to any tax relief on her inheritance. Windsor had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes.


Religious marriage is a separate entity and will still be between a man and a woman.

The religious argument against SSM really has no place in this issue at all. If however there came a day when churches were forced to perform SSM then we would have a legitimate issue. That would be an infringement of rights.

But legal recognition of SSM is simply the right thing to do.

Long rambling post over.

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  Reply # 788817 28-Mar-2013 17:20
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mm1352000: You make it seem so very cut and dried, and the language "invalid and irrelevant" is very strong. In reality, humans don't usually compartmentalise their beliefs. In other words, a moral belief about homosexuality has implications about how we approach the SSM debate.


While some may struggle with the concept of separating their religious beliefs from the law, this doesn't defeat the deliberate separation New Zealand law has from religion. In the case of marriage, those who hold religious ideas about what a marriage is and means to them, they are free to continue doing so irrespective of this law change.

Moral views not related to religion go beyond the scope of the comment I was responding to, and my response above.

Long term, I think it depends what you believe about whether homosexuality is a choice. Playing the devils advocate for a moment, if you believe homosexuality is a choice and that saying yes to gay marriage normalises homosexuality, then allowing gay marriage could be seen as increasing the choice's legitimacy.


Even if homosexuality was a choice (I assert it is not), there is nothing 'wrong' or 'bad' or illegal about it in New Zealand law today. If it is homosexuality itself you do not want, you're fighting the wrong law (And you're about 25 years too late).

While you might have a personal opinion that a same sex relationship is in some way inferior to a heterosexual relationship, in the eyes of the law they are equally legitimate. Quite simply, our marriage law hasn't been kept up to date with our other laws regarding relationships which has created an inequality that the current proposal rectifies.




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  Reply # 788819 28-Mar-2013 17:22
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NZtechfreak:
da5id:I thought I did in my post?

Dr David Greenburg, a New York sociologist, who is gay himself and is the author of a 635 page academic study of homosexuality through the ages called “The Construction of Homosexuality”. It has been hailed within academic circles as the most “extensive and thorough” analysis of homosexuality ever published


Doesn't go remotely far enough. That could be a publicists blurb written in the 80's when (apparently) the paper was done for all I know. The paper is really quite old now, I would be interested to know how it is received now, if the consensus opinion amongst sociologists remained the same you would think this would be now be enshrined as a very strong part of the canon of their body of literature.


If you are disputing the validity of the reference then surely it's up to you to provide the reasons why you are making that argument. It is after all *your argument.* (isn't it?) If it's to be a 'balanced debate' anyway.

Can you, or have you found some reference to the above that makes you question this study? Or is it that you just dont accept it because it does not fit in with your beliefs about homosexuality.

Inquiring minds would like to know.





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  Reply # 788820 28-Mar-2013 17:22
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bradstewart:Religious marriage is a separate entity and will still be between a man and a woman.

The religious argument against SSM really has no place in this issue at all. If however there came a day when churches were forced to perform SSM then we would have a legitimate issue. That would be an infringement of rights.

But legal recognition of SSM is simply the right thing to do.

Long rambling post over.


WINNER!




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  Reply # 788838 28-Mar-2013 17:37
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bradstewart: 

Religious marriage is a separate entity and will still be between a man and a woman.

The religious argument against SSM really has no place in this issue at all. If however there came a day when churches were forced to perform SSM then we would have a legitimate issue. That would be an infringement of rights.

But legal recognition of SSM is simply the right thing to do.

Long rambling post over.


The religious argument doesn't. That's where the anti SSM opposition fails (badly) IMO.

But then the pro SSM 'community' uses the exact same rhetoric with their own bias, bigotry, and denial of the oppositions right to have an (religious) opinion on SSM.

The OP was about the validity of the Herald survey, and the OP's dismissal of it because it did not support his beliefs about SSM. The actual debate (in parliament  is about changing the legal definition of marriage to include SSM that's all. 

As stated previously I fully support the legal change, but do not support the bigoted arguments of those for and against SSM and their religious, moral, and 'cultural' propaganda for their beliefs.

IMO the legal definition of marriage in New Zealand should not stop at SSM, it should include multiple partner marriages and arranged marriages as just two more inconsistencies in this law.

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  Reply # 788851 28-Mar-2013 17:47
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da5id: I read a lot about this sort of thing and the arguments around it. One of the more interesting snippets  I've read is about a book by Dr. Carle Zimmerman from Harvard who wrote a book in 1947 in which he researched the different roles that marriage played in different historical periods.  He wanted to find out if there was a correlation between the health of a nation and the health of the family.  His book is called “Family and Civilization”.

He found that there are three basic patterns to families.  One pattern is always dominant in a developing nation, the second pattern always dominates in a thriving nation, and the third pattern always dominates in a nation in decline.

He found a direct correlation between the health of the family and the health of a nation.  He said that you can predict exactly where a nation is in its life cycle just by studying the family. 

According to this research, eight specific patterns of domestic behaviour have signalled the downward spiral and imminent demise of every culture:
  •  Marriage lost its sacredness; it was frequently broken by divorce.
  •  Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony was lost. Alternate forms and definitions of marriage arose, and traditional marriage vows were replaced by individual marriage contracts.
  •  Feminist movements appeared, and women lost interest in child bearing and mothering, preferring to pursue power and influence.
  •  Public disrespect for parents and authority in general increased.
  •  Juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion accelerated
  •  People with traditional marriages refused to accept family responsibilities.
  •  Desire for and acceptance of adultery grew.
  •  Increased tolerance for sexual perversions of all kinds, particularly homosexuality, with a resultant increase in sex-related crimes.
http://www.amazon.com/Family-Civilization-Prof-Carle-Zimmerman/dp/1933859377

Does that sound like us today?




No it doesn't.

What were the societies he based his findings on?

Did those societies also have things like slavery, upper class rulers, serfs, open warfare, etc? What about  universal education? universal health care, human rights?

Or were they like Europe/Asia/Africa/The Americas, etc, throughout most of human history, where the majority of the population were simply chattel, cannon fodder, and (religious) property of their lords, masters, and  God's 'representative?'


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  Reply # 788854 28-Mar-2013 17:53
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ajobbins:
NZtechfreak:  Almost as good as every racist whoever said "some of my best friends are black!".


Or so so many of the opponents to SSM that start a statement with "I'm not homophobic BUT..."


What, you mean like being accused of being homophobic the moment you say anything that any member of the gay community objects to?


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  Reply # 788855 28-Mar-2013 17:53
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MaxLV: Can you, or have you found some reference to the above that makes you question this study? Or is it that you just dont accept it because it does not fit in with your beliefs about homosexuality.

Inquiring minds would like to know.


Inquiring minds already had an answer from me on that, if they cared to read.

As I have already explained, I presumed (rightly or wrongly) that if that was being offered as evidence the person doing so might have vetted it themselves, and perhaps could have provided me the fruits of their labour as I have precious little time to do a proper review of the literature to adjudicate its merits. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me: for myself, I believe the burden of proof lies first with the person tabling the evidence.

If not I will post a billion sentences expounding my point of view, possibly taken out of context, from people whose publicists acclaim them to be "world experts" and so forth. You can then spend thousands of man-hours discrediting them if you like, but that doesn't seem like a very enlightened way to carry on to me.

Let me be clear: I never said I don't accept the study. I said I don't know enough about it, but an uncredentialled proclamation of someone being the 'worlds foremost expert on homosexuality' made me leery, as it should any critical thinker

Like ajobbins I can actually find precious little on this study at all, which makes me wonder what standing it presently has in the literature.




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Reply # 788892 28-Mar-2013 19:24
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old3eyes: Maybe it's time to lock the thread.


All said and done, this thread is going far better than I'd expected...

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  Reply # 788939 28-Mar-2013 20:13
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MaxLV: IMO the legal definition of marriage in New Zealand should not stop at SSM, it should include multiple partner marriages and arranged marriages as just two more inconsistencies in this law.


I'm glad you brought this up. This discussion, like most others around same sex marriage, appears to have evolved into a debate about the rights and wrongs of homosexuality. Whilst that debate is perfectly valid in a philosophical or moral sense it has no political or legislative relevance.

The state should exercise complete neutrality towards the morality of homosexuality. I can only see two ways of achieving this:
- Perform a ground-up review of the Marriage Act with a view to abolishing the legal concept of marriage in favour of moving entirely to civil unions.
- Remove the provisions in the proposed legislation which prevents groups of people or blood relatives from marrying.

The state cannot assume a neutral position over the morality of homosexuality while it continues to make obstructive moral judgements about other harmless relationships between consenting adults.

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  Reply # 788949 28-Mar-2013 20:38
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alasta: 
- Remove the provisions in the proposed legislation which prevents groups of people or blood relatives from marrying.

The state cannot assume a neutral position over the morality of homosexuality while it continues to make obstructive moral judgements about other harmless relationships between consenting adults.


You're being disingenuous there.  Blood relatives are forbidden from entering relationships for valid health and safety reasons - the offspring from an such relationship would be genetically flawed as a result.  To claim that it is "harmless" is to ignore medical science which has proven that it is indeed incredibly harmful.

Why groups of people can't marry though, if you were to ignore the moral aspect I suspect there are logistical issues to address - how does this work when one member of the unit wishes to divorce?  How does the Relationship Property rules apply in this case?  It would be an absolute nightmare and not one I suspect any government feels like addressing.

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  Reply # 788960 28-Mar-2013 20:53
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I'm bowing out now. It's been literally exhausting, but for the most part a postive and respectful debate.

To summarise my position on the matter, in my mind the only reason or argument needed in favour of same sex marriage is that the current law discrimiates on the basis of sexuality, and that discrimination is unfair. That on it's own is a good enough reason in favour (in my mind).

What we then find is a barrage of reasons or arguments against same sex marriage from all sorts of poeple (old, young, religious, athiest etc). For every one of those arguments I feel I can very easily pull the argument apart - leaving no truely valid reason to oppose this.

Once you peel away the religious arguments, and debunk the myths around the current law, civil union law, adoption law etc, my experience has shown that opponants generally then turn to attacking homosexuality itself. That's not up for debate (not in the context of this disucssion at least). I hope if nothing else, my contribution here has caused some critical thinking amoung some opponants. Some minds are never going to change on the matter - but I live in hope.

We've strayed quite a way from the forum topic 'The NZHerald Gay Marriage Poll is rubbish' - but I will reitterate a point I made early on. The NZ Herald poll I believe reasonably accurate. We're not talking about an online poll here (although the Herald ran one of those as well which caused a lot of confusion about what they were referring to).

The like of Family First/Protect Marriage NZ and the NZ Conservative Party have spent considerable time and money on what I consider a large scale FUD campaign. Don't believe everything you read people, and don't forget to think for yourself.




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  Reply # 788961 28-Mar-2013 20:54
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Kyanar:
alasta: 
- Remove the provisions in the proposed legislation which prevents groups of people or blood relatives from marrying.

The state cannot assume a neutral position over the morality of homosexuality while it continues to make obstructive moral judgements about other harmless relationships between consenting adults.


You're being disingenuous there.  Blood relatives are forbidden from entering relationships for valid health and safety reasons - the offspring from an such relationship would be genetically flawed as a result.  To claim that it is "harmless" is to ignore medical science which has proven that it is indeed incredibly harmful.


You are assuming that people who are married must be having sexual relations, and people who are not married to do not have sexual relations. If marriage is purely a contractual arrangement - which must be the case if the state is to be administering it - then you can't make that assumption.

Why groups of people can't marry though, if you were to ignore the moral aspect I suspect there are logistical issues to address - how does this work when one member of the unit wishes to divorce?  How does the Relationship Property rules apply in this case?  It would be an absolute nightmare and not one I suspect any government feels like addressing.


That's a fair point, but I think at some point in the future this will have to be addressed. Right now I think that the level of social acceptability of multiple partner living arrangements is roughly in line with the social acceptability of homosexuality about 20 years go. So, within the next 20 years there will be a strong push to extend marriage to multiple partners. Given that this would be fraught with the sort of complexities that you have described I would think this is a strong argument for getting the state out of the business of marriage before things get even messier than they already have.

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  Reply # 788967 28-Mar-2013 21:05
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ajobbins: I'm bowing out now. It's been literally exhausting, but for the most part a postive and respectful debate.


I agree with Adam here. Considering previous attempts at discussing this same subject (and as noted by Nate), this thread has been pretty much well behaved. I am glad people with opposing views here have discussed other topics in other threads at the same time, showing that while they might have different opinions and views we can all still exist together at least in this forum.

Well done folks.





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  Reply # 788986 28-Mar-2013 21:31
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This has been a good thread with a minimum of personal attacks which has surprised me, and a few others it would appear. I'm about to make some gross generalisations and it's not meant to offend anyone, just put forward a summary of positions.

To me it appears that peoples postions fall in to 6 groups.

1. Rabidly pro SSM. This group of people are often LGBT or very personally affected. Anyone who doesn't agree with SSM (for what ever reason) is viewed as a bigot.

2. Rabidly anti SSM. Often this group is highly religious. Anyone who agrees with SSM is a sinner and will burn.

3. Classic social liberals. They believe that SSM doesn't affect them and philosophically believe that people should be free to do whatever they like so long as it doesn't adversely affect anyone else. Often they are keen to have a debate on the topic as it's interesting however they get frustrated because the arguments against SSM can be very emotional or religious.

4. Classic social conservatives. They don't agree with SSM, often because it doesn't really fit with what their upbringing and social circle suggests that marriage should be. Generally it's a gut reaction however they will often try and dress their arguments up with semantics.

5. Bigots who hate LGBT people.

6. LGBT bigots who militantly attack people who are not LGBT if they have a view on the topic.

I believe that 80%, or more, people fit into groups 3 and 4. I completely respect the views of 1, 2, 3 and 4 as they have personal beliefs, which may or not be mine, that reflect their world view. They are decent people who happen to have different beliefs. No one can tell you what you have to think or what you choose to believe in providing you are tolerant of others beliefs. 

Groups 5 and 6 are tiny, vocal and hateful. Fortunately there aren't many of them and most people can recognise them for what they are.

FYI I'm in group 3.

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