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The wrong side of history

By Steven | August 30, 2012

Shane Ardern (N); Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (N); David Bennett (N); Chester Borrows (N); Simon Bridges (N); Bill English (N); Christopher Finlayson (N); Nathan Guy (N); John Hayes (N); Phil Heatley (N)); Brendan Horan (NZF); Colin King (N); Melissa Lee (N); Asenati Lole-Taylor (NZF); Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga (N); Tim Macindoe (N); Tracey Martin (NZF); Todd McClay (N); Mark Mitchell (N); Alfred Ngaro (N); Damien O’Connor (L); Simon O’Connor (N); Denis O’Rourke (NZF); Winston Peters (NZF); Richard Prosser (NZF); Ross Robertson (L); Eric Roy (N);Tony Ryall (N); Mike Sabin (N); Katrina Shanks (N); Su’a William Sio (L); Nick Smith (N); Barbara Stewart (NZF); Lindsay Tisch (N); Anne Tolley (N); Louise Upston (N); Andrew Williams (NZF); Michael Woodhouse (N); Jian Yang (N); Jonathan Young (N)

Topics: General | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “The wrong side of history”

  1. ross Says:
    August 30th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    You sound like David Farrar…and, no, that’s not a compliment.

  2. Andrew Easterbrook Says:
    August 30th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    What was Christopher Finlayson’s reason? Isn’t he gay?

  3. Steven Says:
    August 30th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    You’d have to ask him.

  4. Andrew Geddis Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Ross,

    Why is it not a compliment to say that Steven is saying the same correct thing as DPF is saying? Or don’t you think that these 40 individual MPs have cast a vote in a way that is inconsistent with the prevailing public sentiment?

    Andrew,

    My understanding is that Chris Finlayson believes that there should be a division between the state recognising a couple’s relationship for its purposes and religious institutions recognising marriages (as per that religion’s tenants). And this legislation inappropriately elides that distinction – as, in fact, does the present Marriage Act.

    Chris is, after all, also Catholic, which no doubt shapes his views on this issue. But Steven is right – you should ask him yourself.

  5. ross Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    “Why is it not a compliment to say that Steven is saying the same correct thing as DPF is saying?”

    Whether it’s correct or not is surely a matter of opinion. The idea that you should not vote for a piece of legislation lest you be thought of as a dunce or a dinosaur smacks of arrogance. I’d like to think Parliament could have a debate without such sneering.

  6. Andrew Geddis Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    @ross:

    Perhaps when opponents of same-sex marriage stop making appeals to “tradition”, proponents will stop alleging that they are just trying to stem the tide of history. Is that a fair compromise?

  7. Steven Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Ross, consider it a prediction and nothing more, if you like. In 20 years people are going to look back on this vote, gobsmacked that anyone would vote against it, I predict. Restrictions on equality like these are going to look like slavery laws.

  8. BeShakey Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Slavery might be a bit unfair. I’d say more like the debate about whether homosexuality should be a criminal offence. I can’t imagine there are many who think that those who voted that it should be were on the right side of history.

    I think politicians private lives should be private, but Chris Finlayson has been open about his position – he is a gay man who endorses (and lives) the Catholic church’s position on homosexuality, i.e. that if you can’t be in a heterosexual relationship you should be celibate. Whatever you make of that, it helps to understand why he would vote against.

  9. In 10 Years Time… Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    […] Steven Price sez: The wrong side of history […]

  10. ross Says:
    September 3rd, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    “In 20 years people are going to look back on this vote, gobsmacked that anyone would vote against it, I predict. Restrictions on equality like these are going to look like slavery laws.”

    Steven, I’m not sure they’ll be gobsmacked. They might think “what was all the fuss about?”, but that might be the extent of it. I don’t see any comparison to slavery.

  11. Steven Says:
    September 3rd, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I didn’t mean to suggest a comparison with the substantive evils of slavery. Just that it will seem obvious that the old laws were wrong. That’s what I mean by “Wrong side of history”. BeShakey makes the point better than I did.

  12. ross Says:
    September 3rd, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    If that’s what you meant, then I agree with you. I obviously read more into your heading…

  13. Richie Says:
    September 20th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Steven, I find it surprising that you would post this with out knowing the reasons for the way the MP’s voted.

    Have you considered that some MP’s may have held legitimate concerns about the scheme of the Bill and thought to themselves that by voting against the Bill in its first stages, knowing full well that it would pass, these concerns would be given greater weight in the select committee stage?

    To state they are on the wrong side of history is, I suppose, a subjective matter to which you are entitled to your opinion. What I find most annoying about this comment is that it seems to assume that there are no legitimate arguments against the Bill either in substance or in the drafting. Whether or not you agree with them doesn’t determine their legitimacy. It seems to me you have jumped on the band wagon of many of those on twitter, and other social media, who are judging MP’s on a conscience vote without knowing the conscience.

    I apologise if this is a mis-characterisation but a short post like yours leaves it open to that interpretation.

  14. Steven Says:
    September 20th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I have not seen any MP make any argument like this. “The scheme of the Bill”? What do you mean? Here is the only operative provision of the Bill:

    In section 2(1), insert in its appropriate alphabetical order:

    “marriage means the union of 2 people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity”.

    You’re right that I am assuming that a vote on something this straightforward is a direct reflection of conscience.

    Can you point me to a single MP who has said, “Oh, I’m confident that this will pass, and I think as a matter of policy it should, but I am concerned that there is a drafting issue, and I believe that if I vote against it at this stage, then that will add some necessary oomph to the select committee’s consideration of that issue”?

    If you can, I will still say: what a doofus. Why didn’t you vote for it to indicate your support for the change and argue for the tweak at select committee? Otherwise you could quite reasonably be charged with being on the wrong side of history.

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