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  Reply # 787623 26-Mar-2013 23:14
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alasta: If marriage is about property rights and power of attorney then same sex and multiple partner marriage makes sense, but isn't particularly necessary as there are other legal avenues available to achieve this.


This law is about giving same sex partners all of the same rights (Including the name) that heterosexual partners enjoy under the current Marriage Act. There is NO other legislation, or combination of, that can afford the same rights. Equal rights under law can ONLY be achieved by this change to the legislation.

Regardless of whether this bill passes or not I have no doubt that this issue will continue to cause anger and division until we can have a proper grass roots reform of the Marriage Act, rather than a sloppy piece of legislation which pushes a particular narrow agenda but ignores the big picture.


I'm not sure what you mean 'sloppy piece of legislation which pushes a particular narrow agenda but ignores the big picture'.

What is this 'big picture' we are missing? Please enlighten me.




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  Reply # 787624 26-Mar-2013 23:17

It's not illegal to be gay, so why discriminate based on the sex of the partner you choose to share your life with.

We'll all look back on this realising how silly it all is in a few years time. I think polls like this are used as tools by tools.

Lock this thread quickly before I post something... D'oh too late, sorry.




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  Reply # 787626 26-Mar-2013 23:21
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ajobbins:
alasta: If marriage is about property rights and power of attorney then same sex and multiple partner marriage makes sense, but isn't particularly necessary as there are other legal avenues available to achieve this.


This law is about giving same sex partners all of the same rights (Including the name) that heterosexual partners enjoy under the current Marriage Act. There is NO other legislation, or combination of, that can afford the same rights. Equal rights under law can ONLY be achieved by this change to the legislation.


What are these 'rights' that marriage provides? I'm hearing this comment a lot, but the hysterics seem to struggle to substantiate what marriage actually means from a legal or political perspective. 


Regardless of whether this bill passes or not I have no doubt that this issue will continue to cause anger and division until we can have a proper grass roots reform of the Marriage Act, rather than a sloppy piece of legislation which pushes a particular narrow agenda but ignores the big picture.


I'm not sure what you mean 'sloppy piece of legislation which pushes a particular narrow agenda but ignores the big picture'.

What is this 'big picture' we are missing? Please enlighten me.


The big picture are the questions around what does the term marriage mean, what is the state's role in it, does the state even have a legitimate role at all, should we or do we have true separation between church and state, etc.

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  Reply # 787627 26-Mar-2013 23:22
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mm1352000: I personally find it hard to separate the legal definition of marriage (ie. the legal rights and recognition entailed with being legally married) with moral connotations from my upbringing. Rightly or wrongly, I don't know if I could ever support a gay couple getting married in a church. I'd rather see marriage become a non-legal concept or to give the legal concept a different name.


Your grasp on this is much more articulated than many that hold religious view (that's a good thing).

It's important to remember that there are (currently) two parts to any ceremonial or religious marriage in New Zealand now. There is the legal aspect - the obtaining and solemnising of a marriage licence which confers the legal rights under marriage to the participants, and then there is a ceremonial or religious aspect.

You can have a legal marriage without ever having a ceremony, let alone one in a church. It's still a marriage by law. The religious or ceremonial aspects of a marriage are totally separate from the legal aspect.

The law seeks to change only the legal aspect and has been very clear about protecting the rights of religious organisations. As such (and coupled with the fact NZ is a secular nation), religious or moral beliefs have no place in this argument.




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  Reply # 787629 26-Mar-2013 23:35
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alasta: What are these 'rights' that marriage provides? I'm hearing this comment a lot, but the hysterics seem to struggle to substantiate what marriage actually means from a legal or political perspective. 


A couple of things. Yes it provides for things like property rights that something such as a Civil Union (or even a de-facto relationship provides), but only in New Zealand. New Zealand has both formal and informal agreements with other nations allowing the international recognition of couples marriage status under the terms it was solemnised in New Zealand. We do not have such agreements in place for civil unions (nor should we need to).

Secondly, in the case where a same sex couple currently raise adopted children, only one of those parents can legally be recorded as the childs parent. The other partner can only be listed as a suplementary carer. If the 'parent' were to die, the child would likely be taken from the family. Marriage rights would allow the recognition that both parents.

Thirdly, and possibly most importantly is the right to use the term Marriage. By denying same sex couples the right to call their legally affirmed relationship a marriage, it becomes a second-class status. Many argue that a Civil Union could be extended to afford the same rights as marriage, however this can never fully be so, unless you change the name of Civil Union to Marraige - in which case, it's redundant.

The big picture are the questions around what does the term marriage mean, what is the state's role in it, does the state even have a legitimate role at all, should we or do we have true separation between church and state, etc.


I think there is adequate separate at present - but I think the reason this hasn't been delved deeper into is there is no strong appetite to change the status quo on this aspect. Perhaps there will come a time when there is a stronger appetite for reducing the state's involvement in a marriage, however no one seems all that bothered right now.




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  Reply # 787635 27-Mar-2013 00:04
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alasta: A large part of the problem is that the term 'marriage' seems to be used to refer to several quite distinct concepts.

If marriage is about property rights and power of attorney then same sex and multiple partner marriage makes sense, but isn't particularly necessary as there are other legal avenues available to achieve this. If marriage is a living arrangement then this shouldn't be 'legally recognised' at all as it's none of the state's business, and if marriage is a religious ritual then deciding who is eligible is the responsibility of the church rather than the state.

I tend to agree with your perspective here.

ajobbins: Your grasp on this is much more articulated than many that hold religious view (that's a good thing).

Thanks. Smile

It's important to remember that there are (currently) two parts to any ceremonial or religious marriage in New Zealand now. There is the legal aspect - the obtaining and solemnising of a marriage licence which confers the legal rights under marriage to the participants, and then there is a ceremonial or religious aspect.

Yes, I agree again.
As alasta said, "marriage" is often used to describe several related concepts. As I previously admitted, those concepts are not easily separable (emotionally) for some people like myself, and that is probably part of the disagreement. I'd advocate that giving the concepts different names would help to clarify. However, like you've said there are people who want to be recognised as "married" (ie. the term matters). To me that seems like an emotional argument, but I'd readily admit that as a single, white, rich [in relative terms] male my ability to put myself in the position of a person who experiences discrimination is just as limited as my knowledge about what is involved with marriage (even given the religious background)!

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  Reply # 787644 27-Mar-2013 01:31
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John2010:
ajobbins:
...FYI - The current Oxford English Dictionary definiton of marriage currently contains the following in the first definition of the word:
     "(in some jurisdictions) a union between partners of the same sex."


Yes, that demonstrates exactly what I am saying. Homosexuals are hijacking a definition into something new without any concern whatsoever (to the extent of abuse) for those who hold the definition to have some special meaning to them (the nature of which I have tried to explain but which in turn is dismissed).


Um excuse me, but isn't that a little hypocritical? 
Straight:
1) Extending or moving uniformly in one direction only, without a curve or bend
2) Properly positioned so as to be level, upright or symmetrical
3) Not evasive, Honest
4) In continuous succession
5) Undiluted (alcoholic drink)
6) serious as opposed to comic or musical (especially of drama)

7th adjective is for the heterosexual form of straight, but as far as I can tell, you heterosexuals had hijacked this word long before homosexuals 'hijacked' gay. 

Also, when did we sit down and decide to use this word? I searched through the minutes from previous Homosexual Committee meetings, and wasn't able to find anything mentioning this. And I dont recall telling my friends that we're taking the word away from them, did you do that to yours?

Please, if you're gonna try pathetic attempts to justify your discrimination, get your facts 'straight'.




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  Reply # 787645 27-Mar-2013 01:54
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All this talk of 'hijacking' language, as if language is some static immutable thing. Railing against language change is as pointless as shaking your fist at the wind. You may not like the direction it blows, but that won't stop it from changing.




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  Reply # 787646 27-Mar-2013 02:09
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As a resident 'only gay in the village' how about the third option - get government out of marriage entirely and have everyone with a civil union?




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  Reply # 787663 27-Mar-2013 08:29
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From a CNN opinion today on a similar debate in the USA, and I think this applies as well to the New Zealand situation:


"Those issues surfaced in the various briefs filed in the Supreme Court, some of which are written as if the court must inevitably choose one religious point of view as the winner and the other as the loser. This is a false choice. The Court can make all winners, or at least avoid allowing one side to suppress the other's deepest beliefs.

Our government should not act to further one or another religious view of contested moral issues.
Neither can citizens opposed to same-sex marriage demand that the government refuse recognition to such marriages in order to avoid offending their religious sensibilities.

Religious liberty, as the American Jewish Committee told the Supreme Court recently in a friend-of-the-court brief, does not give anyone the right to demand that someone else be deprived of the "right to live the most intimate portions of their lives according to their own deepest convictions." That some religious groups regard same-sex marriage as an "abomination" does not authorize the government to ban such relationships. That is one price we all pay for protecting religious liberty.

Same-sex couples should not be denied the right to civil marriage; that is the immediate issue in the cases now before the Supreme Court. And when that right is secured, same-sex couples should not, without very good reason, be allowed to force dissenting religious organizations to recognize or facilitate their marriages."








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  Reply # 787690 27-Mar-2013 09:43
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freitasm: From a CNN opinion today on a similar debate in the USA, and I think this applies as well to the New Zealand situation:


Yep, agree. In select committee there were around 10,000 submissions in support of the bill and around 8,000 against. But it was noted that a very high percentage of submissions against (may have even been a majority) did so on religious grounds.




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  Reply # 787696 27-Mar-2013 09:50
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ajobbins:
freitasm: From a CNN opinion today on a similar debate in the USA, and I think this applies as well to the New Zealand situation:


Yep, agree. In select committee there were around 10,000 submissions in support of the bill and around 8,000 against. But it was noted that a very high percentage of submissions against (may have even been a majority) did so on religious grounds.


And? It's a valid reason.

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  Reply # 787698 27-Mar-2013 09:54
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mm1352000: Hmmm, I'll risk a comment...

Having been raised in a religious background myself, I think it is interesting that some religious people seem to expect the law to reflect and support their moral persuasions. To be clear, my understanding is that those people see gay marriage as a moral issue (ie. homosexuality is wrong so gay marriage is even more wrong). A few years ago I probably would have numbered myself as one of those people. In some ways I think their indignation is understandable, because NZ's law has historically reflected Christian morality. However the law is obviously not able or designed to enforce a moral code.

I think more than anything else, such people are concerned about the increasingly violent crime, greed and materialism, and poverty and desperation that appear to have emerged in NZ society in parallel with the shift away towards atheism and secularism. In such a world view, gay marriage is yet another symptom of the breakdown of society's moral fibre.

I equally find it interesting that although NZ proclaims itself to be a tolerant society, people here and others that I've interacted with have expressed strongly anti-religious views to the point where I would avoid talking about my religious background with them. If it is not an anti-religious environment, I think it is at least an environment in which society seems to prefer to avoid talking openly about religion. Every time anyone with a religious affiliation dares to make a public comment about an issue such as gay marriage we get people who throw up their hands at those "hateful sunday-only christians" (or [insert similar comment about Muslims or other religious minorities]). It becomes impossible to take a moral stand about any issue.

I personally find it hard to separate the legal definition of marriage (ie. the legal rights and recognition entailed with being legally married) with moral connotations from my upbringing. Rightly or wrongly, I don't know if I could ever support a gay couple getting married in a church. I'd rather see marriage become a non-legal concept or to give the legal concept a different name.


This is nicely put and reflects almost identically my own feeling on this. Well done for speaking up.

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  Reply # 787706 27-Mar-2013 10:20
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networkn:
ajobbins:
freitasm: From a CNN opinion today on a similar debate in the USA, and I think this applies as well to the New Zealand situation:


Yep, agree. In select committee there were around 10,000 submissions in support of the bill and around 8,000 against. But it was noted that a very high percentage of submissions against (may have even been a majority) did so on religious grounds.


And? It's a valid reason.


Sure, its a valid opinion, and a valid submission, but the CNN opinion finds it an irrelevant one to a states decision making around gay marriage. That is the "And?" quite clearly from the context of those two posts.




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  Reply # 787709 27-Mar-2013 10:26
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Some good points here. Bit of a difference in the stance against gay marriage to the last time this discussion was raised on geekzone.

It looks like NZ is waking up to the real consequences of why legalising gay marriage is a bad thing.

Are heterosexual parents happy for their kids to learn about Gay sex at schools? Why only teach the kids heterosexual sex? Allow gay marriage in this country and thats what will be next.

hdinsider: It's not illegal to be gay, so why discriminate based on the sex of the partner you choose to share your life with.


And in 5 years time you will be saying, gay marriages are legal, so why allow the churches to discriminate and not allow a gay marriage in church.

I dont support gay marriage. Never will. Its not discriminating against gays either. Being Gay is a lifestyle choice.

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