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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 789524 30-Mar-2013 09:23
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Just a note: the OP was banned because he abused the FUG in another thread. Like other people who abuse the FUG he emailed me saying we censored him, etc. He asked to have his posts removed, so we did. That's why the first post in this topic is not showing anything now.





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  Reply # 789534 30-Mar-2013 09:46
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Elpie - I congratulate you on such a well thought out post in a climate where so many people getting involved in this issue seem to be wrapped up in hysteria.

I think part of the problem here is that a lot of people perceive the issue differently to you. You're correct in thinking that marriage is - politically speaking - nothing more than a legal contract, but other people seem to have a strange idea that their personal relationship with the other party is somehow devalued if the state does not recognise that relationship.

It seems silly to let this issue boil down to semantics, but I actually believe that if we stopped using the term 'marriage' and called it something different then it would resolve a lot of the conflict around this issue.

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  Reply # 789545 30-Mar-2013 10:40
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kyhwana2:
da5id:
kyhwana2: Obvious Solution is obvious. Repeal all law mentioning "marriage". Only allow civil unions/partnerships.
People that solemnise these things become "civil union celebrants". If you wanted to get "married", go dance on a beach after getting your civil union certificate.

Done. *wipes hands*



da5id:
Because I don't believe that Government created 'marriage' and as such cannot just do away with it or change it's definition to be anything other than a union of a man and a woman.


Actually, I think you'll find it has and it can. See the Marriage Act 1955. That's where they created it. So as such they can change what it "means".

da5id:
A question though: why should society do away or change the definition of the institution of marriage (which has always been the same throughout history and across cultures) and take up civil unions instead. 


Been the same huh? Lets check out the bible, since that seems to be peoples favourite reason why we can't have equal marriage.
Genesis: 4:19 "And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.".

Screw it, have an image instead:


So you asseration that marriage has always been the same across cultures and history is simply incorrect. Try again.



But if you look at your little stick figures, there is one with pants and one with a dress in every box. 
It is still based on an institution between a man and a woman (or women). Not two women or two men.
The formula they use is "Man +" a differing number of women.


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  Reply # 789546 30-Mar-2013 10:43
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alasta: Elpie - I congratulate you on such a well thought out post in a climate where so many people getting involved in this issue seem to be wrapped up in hysteria.

I think part of the problem here is that a lot of people perceive the issue differently to you. You're correct in thinking that marriage is - politically speaking - nothing more than a legal contract, but other people seem to have a strange idea that their personal relationship with the other party is somehow devalued if the state does not recognise that relationship.

It seems silly to let this issue boil down to semantics, but I actually believe that if we stopped using the term 'marriage' and called it something different then it would resolve a lot of the conflict around this issue.


I like your idea of developing a new term. One reason why we won't see it happening is that it is a complex task that would require a lot more thought and hard work than the piecemeal measures underway right now.

It is overly simplistic to say that marriage, even politically speaking, is only a legal contract. All legal contracts function within broader social relationships which have political ramifications. As Elpie points out, the law often changes when society changes. For the same reasons this cannot be reduced to a debate about the semantics of the term marriage. Elpie uses a secular/religious dichotomy to make a point about the meaning of marriage but that leaves out so much of what marriage means for many people. Loving, caring, nurturing relationships do not originate from law or tenet but from from something else that the secular/religious divide won't help us to find.

By using the word 'hysteria', which is such a loaded term, you are attempting to devalue those people that you don't agree with. Why not stick to reasoned debate?








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  Reply # 789553 30-Mar-2013 11:13
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Elpie: One thing is clear in this thread - people don't agree on what the word, "marriage" means. I married a couple of weeks ago in Canada where marriage is entirely gender-neutral. The guys who filmed my ceremony have been married for years yet should they move here they would not have their relationship recognised. My marriage in Canada is recognised here so it seems unreasonable that theirs wouldn't be. Unless the law changes.

Marriage is a loaded word because it has two meanings - one religious and one secular. The meaning has been in flux for centuries but the idea of it being in any way related to love is reasonably new. 

The legal side is not about relationships or emotions. It's about property and responsibility. A legal marriage confers obligations on two people, including the obligation to provide for any offspring should they have them. Society has its mores but cannot enforce legally-binding obligations. 

Until relatively recent times, women were considered property of men, as were children of their union. This is still true in some countries. Even now, some people get married here with the father of the bride, "giving her away" and a man responding to, "do you take this woman" and a woman vowing to be subservient. Monogamy in marriage used to be something only expected of women (right down to the dark old days of chastity belts) because that was the only way a man could be certain his heir was his child. Again, all about property rights and inheritance. Marriage was an economic institution. 

Marriage for love started really coming into prominence only last century. Some people argue that it is a relationship between only a man and a woman and therefore cannot be changed. The Marriage Act was written in 1950 and a lot has changed since then. Back then, divorces were messy and difficult - no such thing as a "no faults" divorce with a couple simply deciding to separate then legalising it. Many marital traditions — for eg. coverture, marital rape exemptions—have been unjust and have been changed. It used to be legally acceptable to hit kids too. Times change.

People are not going to agree on what marriage means. However, our government is not trying to redefine the word. They are looking at rewriting a law. Laws change as society changes. 

If a gay or lesbian couple marry it doesn't affect the legal contract made by any other couples that marry. It just confers on them the same rights and responsibilities heterosexual couples have when they sign that piece of paper. Property becomes joint property, decisions over their spouses health or end-of-life care become theirs to make, joint income and circumstances are taken into account when applying for welfare, mortgages, custody and inheritance rights, and tax status. LBGT individuals can adopt children now - allowing legal marriage makes two people responsible for those children instead of the individual parent as it stands now. Surely that's a good thing? Marriage doesn't make adoption of children any more likely than it already is (and given the shortage of children available for adoption by ANYONE it's a spurious argument at best). 

Many of the arguments I've seen here in this thread read like the arguments people in the States used when there were moves to allow inter-racial marriage. I'm all for passing legislation to make marriage gender-neutral. And, for me, people's sexuality is irrelevant. 


Interesting and thoughtful reply. But when you say that Government is not trying to redefine the word, I believe they are. Louisa Wall's marriage bill is officially called 'The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill'. Therefore (going by the title of the bill), the bill does seek to amend or change the definition of marriage, or what marriage means. And, logically, if marriage has always been between man and woman, then the definition truly is changing if it becomes something it was previously not, ie also between same-sex couples.

You also talk about equality of property rights and incomes for married gays and lesbians with married people etc. This wouldn't change at all. It was already changed. Equal rights were conferred when Civil Unions were passed in 2004-2005.
Snippet from a Dominion Post column below - 


      Everyone remembers the passing of the Civil Unions Act in late 2004 because of the publicity it generated. The Civil Unions Act was followed by a companion Relationships (Statutory References) Act in early 2005 - the Relationships Act. It was passed by Parliament without fanfare and little publicity. It has therefore been missing from this debate because its purpose and legal effects are largely unknown to New Zealanders. Yet it is of crucial importance.

So what did the Relationships Act do? It amended more then 150 acts of Parliament to add, after every reference to "marriage", the words "civil union and de facto" so there would be a complete and perfect legal equality between marriage, civil unions and heterosexual or homosexual de facto relationships. It means all couples, in any of these relationships, have the same rights under New Zealand law, with the possible exception of the adoption law.

Therefore, nothing is to be gained from redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, since equal rights have already been granted. That battle was fought and won in 2005.


As far as marriage having two meanings, one secular and one religious, the understanding of marriage predates any government or religion. It’s a pre-political, pre-religious institution evident even in cultures that had no law or faith to promote it. Being religious myself, I believe that the institution comes from God, but that's another matter.

As I've said before though, the State doesn't care about romantic love, or who loves whom, and people are free to love and live with whomever they choose.  Government only gets involved in the business of marriage because marriage between one man and one woman is likely to result in a family with children. Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.




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  Reply # 789575 30-Mar-2013 12:04
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da5id:
kyhwana2: 
So you asseration that marriage has always been the same across cultures and history is simply incorrect. Try again.



But if you look at your little stick figures, there is one with pants and one with a dress in every box. 
It is still based on an institution between a man and a woman (or women). Not two women or two men.
The formula they use is "Man +" a differing number of women.



Indeed. But you're still wrong that it's always been the same across all cultures and history.

Also, have a look at how much sexism and misogyny still exists in the world. People give misogynist reasons for not letting lesbians getting married. (See Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi's comments about "Who will be the husband/wife?" in the select committee)

Are you implying that women aren't somehow "complete" without a man?


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  Reply # 789578 30-Mar-2013 12:07
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da5id:
Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.



You just argued FOR equal marriage! Good work!
(If you then go and say it's about procreation, then why does the government let infertile people get married, etc. Bad puppy! Back into the corner!)



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  Reply # 789580 30-Mar-2013 12:26
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kyhwana2:
da5id:
Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.



You just argued FOR equal marriage! Good work!
(If you then go and say it's about procreation, then why does the government let infertile people get married, etc. Bad puppy! Back into the corner!)




Do you know what "propagation" means? Google it. Gay couples cannot propagate.
As for the argument about infertile couples - all heterosexual couples can procreate in principle. I will leave you with a quote from Alan Keyes from a televised debate he had with Obama - 


The word “principle” means, relating to the definition of; not relating to particular circumstances. So if an apple has a worm in it, the worm is not part of the definition of the apple; it doesn’t change what the apple is in principle. [...] Human beings reason by concepts and definitions; we also make laws by concepts and definitions. And if you don’t know how to operate with respect for the definitions, you can’t make the law. An individual who is impotent, or another who is infertile does not change the definition of marriage in principle.

Because between a man and a woman – in principle – procreation is always possible. And it is that possibility that gave rise to the institution of marriage in the first place. But when it is impossible, as between two males or two females – you’re talking about something that is not just incidentally impossible, it’s impossible in principle. That means that if you are saying, ‘that is a marriage’, you are saying that marriage can be understood in principle apart from procreation. You have changed it’s definition in such a way as, in fact, to destroy the necessity for the institution, since the only reason it has existed in human societies and civilizations is to regulate, from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.

So if you start playing games in this way, you are acting as if the institution has no basis independent of your own arbitrary whim.






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  Reply # 789589 30-Mar-2013 12:42
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bradstewart:
kyhwana2:
Klipspringer: 
Over 50% of kiwis are Christians so yes we really should be getting a Christian perspective.


I think you'll find that the majority of kiwi's are not longer christian. Or if they are, they aren't the SAME kind of christian. (That is, they believe in different gods). 



For someone who has just gone on a massive attack against religion, you clearly know nothing about that which you're attacking anyway. Maybe you could do with a quick trip over to Wikipedia.

This thread has actually kept a rather respectful and civil tone despite clear differences in opinion. But your posts are completely unnecessary and will only serve to derail the thread.

*points to the door*


The previous posts by this member all simply state facts. I don't find them unnecessary at all given that many opinions expressed here are based upon various religions. The key point to take away is that religion has no place in this debate.

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  Reply # 789590 30-Mar-2013 12:42
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da5id:
kyhwana2:
da5id:
Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.



You just argued FOR equal marriage! Good work!
(If you then go and say it's about procreation, then why does the government let infertile people get married, etc. Bad puppy! Back into the corner!)




Do you know what "propagation" means? Google it. Gay couples cannot propagate.
As for the argument about infertile couples - all heterosexual couples can procreate in principle. I will leave you with a quote from Alan Keyes from a televised debate he had with Obama - 
(snip)

So if you start playing games in this way, you are acting as if the institution has no basis independent of your own arbitrary whim.


So then in principle, there should be an age limit of marriage, since menopause is part of human physiology. 

Why are you so hung up on this procreation/sex thing?

As for playing games, institutions are setup/made by people, if people decide to change the institution, well that's too bad! (The "institution" of marriage didn't use to include inter-racial couples, now it does!)

I'll leave you with a Oatmeal comic:

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  Reply # 789594 30-Mar-2013 12:46
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da5id: 

Do you know what "propagation" means? Google it. Gay couples cannot propagate.
As for the argument about infertile couples - all heterosexual couples can procreate in principle. I will leave you with a quote from Alan Keyes from a televised debate he had with Obama - 



Oh, hope you like science too, since gay couples will probably soon be able to propoage, so there goes that argument. 
(See http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0421_040421_whoneedsmales.html )

Once this becomes reality, what arguments do you have left?



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  Reply # 789602 30-Mar-2013 13:00
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1080p:
bradstewart:
kyhwana2:
Klipspringer: 
Over 50% of kiwis are Christians so yes we really should be getting a Christian perspective.


I think you'll find that the majority of kiwi's are not longer christian. Or if they are, they aren't the SAME kind of christian. (That is, they believe in different gods). 



For someone who has just gone on a massive attack against religion, you clearly know nothing about that which you're attacking anyway. Maybe you could do with a quick trip over to Wikipedia.

This thread has actually kept a rather respectful and civil tone despite clear differences in opinion. But your posts are completely unnecessary and will only serve to derail the thread.

*points to the door*


The previous posts by this member all simply state facts. I don't find them unnecessary at all given that many opinions expressed here are based upon various religions. The key point to take away is that religion has no place in this debate.


Why should "religion should have no place in this debate". You're trying to provide a privileged position for so-called non-religious positions. It is like saying that "culture", "race", "philosophy" or "family background" should have no place in this debate given their strong association with "religion".

The key point to take away is that humanity has no place in this debate. Wink




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  Reply # 789605 30-Mar-2013 13:11
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kyhwana2:
da5id: 

Do you know what "propagation" means? Google it. Gay couples cannot propagate.
As for the argument about infertile couples - all heterosexual couples can procreate in principle. I will leave you with a quote from Alan Keyes from a televised debate he had with Obama - 



Oh, hope you like science too, since gay couples will probably soon be able to propoage, so there goes that argument. 
(See http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0421_040421_whoneedsmales.html )

Once this becomes reality, what arguments do you have left?




It's still not natural. Sure scientists can tamper with nature but a normal and natural union doesn't (and shouldn't) need tampering with. Did you read the article to the end?


Producing a mouse from two eggs is a very risky and very inefficient procedure—only two embryos survived of 371 that were implanted in surrogate mothers.

"The success rate is less than 1 percent—who knows what went wrong with the other 99 percent," Lam said. "Like cloning, it would be completely unethical to try such experiments in humans."

Until the role of imprinted genes—many of which have been implicated in disease—is better understood, it is safe to say that Dad is still an essential part of reproduction.




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  Reply # 789606 30-Mar-2013 13:14
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da5id: Here's a snippet from a guest post from The Irish Daily Mail written by a gay blogger as to why he does not support SSM, and thinks that other gays should not either.


Actually, gay people should defend the traditional understanding of marriage as strongly as everyone else. Given that it is being undermined in the name of gay people, with consequences for future generations, it is all the more important that gay people who are opposed to gay marriage speak up.

The support and status that marriage entails is not a societal bonus for falling in love and agreeing to make a relationship lasting. That is not, of course, to say that love and romance are not an important part of marriage. But they are not the reason it has special status. If romance were the reason for supporting marriage, there would be no grounds for differentiating which relationships should be included and which should not. But that is not and never has been the nature of marriage.

Marriage is vital as a framework within which children can be brought up by a man and woman. Not all marriages, of course, involve child-raising. And there are also, for that matter, same-sex couples already raising children. But the reality is that marriages tend towards child-raising and same-sex partnerships do not.

I am conscious of this when considering my own circle of friends, quite a few of whom have recently married or will soon do so in the future. Many, if not most or all of them, will raise children. If, however, I or gay friends form civil partnerships, those are much more unlikely to involve raising children. So the question that matters is this: Why should a gay relationship be treated the same way as a marriage, despite this fundamental difference?

A wealth of research demonstrates the marriage of a man and a woman provides children with the best life outcomes, that children raised in marriages that stay together do best across a whole range of measures. This is certainly not to cast aspersions on other families, but it does underscore the importance of marriage as an institution.

This is why the demand for gay marriage goes doubly wrong. It is not a demand for marriage to be extended to gay people – it is a demand for marriage to be redefined. The understanding of marriage as an institution that exists and is supported for the sake of strong families changes to an understanding of marriage as merely the end-point of romance. If gay couples are considered equally eligible for marriage, even though gay relationships do not tend towards child-raising and cannot by definition give a child a mother and a father, the crucial understanding of what marriage is actually mainly for has been discarded.

What that amounts to is the kind of marriage that puts adults before children. That, in my opinion, is ultimately selfish, and far too high a price to pay simply for the token gesture of treating opposite-sex relationships and same-sex relationships identically. And it is a token gesture. Isn’t it common sense, after all, to treat different situations differently? To put it personally, I do not feel in the least bit discriminated against by the fact that I cannot marry someone of the same-sex. I understand and accept that there are good reasons for this.








My reply to this quote:

Marriage has nothing to do with child rearing. Child rearing dos not entail marriage and marriage does not entail child rearing. The debate around what marriage is in the end will not be based upon children at all.

Child rearing does, however, commonly occur within the framework of marriage as it is a very convenient situation for it to occur and historically most states have recognised this by legislating for it in some way. Keep in mind that there is no evidence that a mother and a father are the sole optimal situation for a child to be raised. This is due in a large part by the lack of long term widespread homosexual parenting which will change in time.

Marriage between a man and a woman was simply what was considered normal by society when legislation for marriage was first enacted. You must also keep in mind that before this period marriage was also a lot of other things; many unpleasant to think about today. The key information to take away is that marriage has and always will evolve.

To sum up, that post uses anecdotal evidence to base its key message upon and fails to provide any way to substantiate the claims that are provided by a "wealth of research".

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  Reply # 789615 30-Mar-2013 13:21
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kyhwana2, by the way, many SSM proponents have tried to equate the push for SSM with the Civil Rights movement (like your cartoon does) They are not similar at all. Equality is not the same as equivalence.

Under segregation, blacks and whites were forced to use separate bathrooms or restrooms. That was obviously wrong and now they can use the same.

However, men and women are uniquely different.

Males and females have to use separate bathrooms as well, but no one claims this is inequality or that it is sexist. It doesn't take away from the rights of men or women to do so. They are different but equal in value. The relationships between same gender couples and couples made up of man and women are also different, and it is not sexist or bigoted to say so. They just are. This doesn't mean the have less value.



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