Friday, April 19, 2013
Mike Butler: The gay-marriage self-parody
The phrase “gay rights for nuclear-free whales” quite accurately parodies the shallow, trendy, bumper-sticker campaigns of the New Zealand left. Shallow trendiness dominated parliament this week as Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage Bill) Amendment Bill passed its third reading 77 votes to 44.
Customs Minister Maurice Williamson promised the sky would not cave in, which was obvious since figures from New Zealand’s 2006 census show that same-sex couples make up fewer than 1 percent of all couples in New Zealand. The numbers of homosexual men living together reached 0.3 percent in 2006, while the number of homosexual women cohabiting made up 0.4 percent of all couples living together.
A total of 3516 female couples and 2655 male couples lived together in 2006, compared with 867,696 couples of the opposite sex. In 2011, of all homosexual couples living together, 232 couples entered into a civil union, with 133 of them women.
To what extent did this shallow, trendy, bumper-sticker campaign clog up parliament? Some indication came from the time it took for MPs to reply to the email I sent to all on August 28 last year. Labour MP Lianne Dalziel replied in March this year while National MP Nicky Wagner replied on April 16.
I did not read all the Hansard report of the debate so I cannot say that everything that MPs said were trite. But I can say that Tau Henare must have been operating on auto-pilot because he appeared to think he was debating a race-related bill when he criticised NZ First leader Winston Peters, who called for a referendum, for "pandering to racists and rednecks".
Not all gays in the New Zealand parliament support gay marriage. The high-profile Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson, of the National Party, who outed himself as gay a number of years ago, voted against Wall’s bill all the way through.
But I can say that the arguments on both sides did not go very deep. Possibly the best argument against the bill was that politicians were depriving the few children who may be raised in a same-sex family the right to having both a father and a mother.
Evidence from Sociologist Mark Regnerus showed that children with a parent in a same-sex relationship “under-perform” in almost every category; fewer than 2 percent of children from intact, biological families reported experiencing sexual abuse of some nature, but that figure for children of same-sex couples is 23 percent. (1)
Aside from underperformance and abuse, a telling account from a guy of what it was like to be raised by two mummies appeared during the debate.
Robert Oscar Lopez said growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. He wrote: “I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast.. . .I had no male figure at all to follow . . .I had very few recognizable social cues to offer potential male or female friends.”
“When I got to college”, he wrote, “I set off everyone’s “gaydar” and the campus LGBT group quickly descended upon me to tell me it was 100-percent certain I must be a homosexual. When I came out as bisexual, they told everyone I was lying and just wasn’t ready to come out of the closet as gay yet. . . . it would take several novels to explain how I ended up “straight” after almost thirty years as a gay man. I don’t feel like dealing with gay activists skewering me the way they go on search-and-destroy missions against ex-gays, ‘closet cases’, or ‘homocons’.” (2)
The “marriage as a cornerstone of society” argument was best put by American radio talk show host and academic Dennis Prager, who provided a snapshot of how marriage has lifted human society in his lengthy article titled “Judaism’s Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality”
Prager wrote that “when Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channelled into marriage, it changed the world. The Torah's prohibition on non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of western civilisation possible. Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent domination of the Western world can be largely attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity.”
He wrote that “human sexuality, especially male sexuality, is polymorphous, or utterly wild (far more so than animal sexuality). Men have had sex with women and with men; with little girls and young boys; with a single partner and in large groups; with total strangers and immediate family members; and with a variety of domesticated animals.”
Gender distinctions that the “gay rights for nuclear-free whales” brigade is obsessed with now did not exist four thousand years ago, when the only sexual distinction was penetrator and penetrate, with the penetrator option being preferable. Moreover, the ancient Jews would not allow the sale of farm animals to non-Jews because of widespread bestiality.
For those who think that same-sex marriage could be included in the ancient Jewish set-up, the Torah prohibits same-sex acts, and says that it’s not OK to “spill seed on the ground”.
New Zealand is the 13th nation to legalise same-sex marriage, the others including the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark. – mostly post-Christian, post-modernist, and if the New Zealand parliament is anything to go by, post-logic, and post-common sense.
The passage of Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage Bill) Amendment Bill to satisfy the “gay rights for nuclear-free whales” crowd is yet another of the death-by-1000-cuts process that is gradually sending western culture back to where it was 4000 years ago.
1. Is Gay Parenting Bad for the Kids? http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/302319/gay-parenting-bad-kids-charles-c-w-cooke?pg=1
2. Growing Up With Two Moms: The Untold Children’s View by Robert Oscar Lopez http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/growing-up-with-two-moms-the-untold-childrens-view
3. Judaism’s Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality, http://www.utsalumni.org/news/judaisms-sexual-revolution-why-judaism-and-then-christianity-rejected-homosexuality-6635/?utm_source=UTS+Alumni+Newsletter&utm_campaign=bad8f0557c-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email
at 1:25 PM