Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Big News: Gays Not A Minority Under HRA

BIG NEWS with Dave Crampton

The Gay Community Is Not A Minority Under Human Rights Legislation

The Government has been dishonest in its promotion of the Civil Union Bill. It denies it is a gay bill, while promoting it as a means to give equal rights to a ''gay minority'' under Human Rights legislation. It maintains that the vote is a conscience vote while expecting all its list MPs to vote for the bill. Whose conscience? Helen Clark's of course.

The select committee report on the Civil Union Bill, out last week, says the purpose of the bill is to establish civil unions for different and same sex couples. Noted that "different" comes before "same sex" - as if same sex couples are an add-on. The truth is that the purpose of the bill is to establish civil unions for same sex couples - and opposite sex defacto couples are also included as to not include them would breach our human rights legislation. And that is the only reason. The only reason that it is not a gay marriage bill is that it is not politically expedient to legislate for gay marriage.

The report also discusses de facto couples and married couples - but talks about "good defacto parents" and "bad married parents", as if to highlight why we need civil unions. The Government thinks there's too many bad married parents, but a lot of good de facto parents who need legal and social recognition - but they are not seeking this legislation. What happened to the good married parents - and lets face it, 57 percent of families are headed by married couples. Good married parents is not good spin to promote civil unions, that's what.

It's predominately gay couples who don’t have kids who are seeking this legislation. The next biggest group is gay people who do have kids followed by gay people who don't have partners. The next biggest group who seek this legislation are Labour MP's.
All the research quoted by the report supported same sex relationships, even though more research to the contrary was presented to the select committee. So not only did nearly half the views of the select committee members get ignored, so did the majority of the submissions, most of which did not even get read.
David Benson-Pope, the minister in charge of the bill, says the bill is designed to protect a minority and give that minority equal rights under Human Rights legislation. Yet any legal rights are given primarily under the Relationship (Statutory References) Bill which hasn't even been redrafted yet.

So how do MPs know what they are voting for? Probably about as much as some submitters knew what they were submitting to at the select committee.

Under the Human Rights Act, gay people - and transgender people - are not classed under the Act as a minority, despite the addition of sexual orientation as a prohibited form of discrimination, along with marital status and family status. In fact transgender people are not even included in the prohibited form of sexual orientation discrimination - yet. The Bill Of Rights includes ethnic, religious or linguistic under minorities - but not a "homosexual minority".

All are classed as individuals - just as straight people are - under "sexual orientation". Some people need reminding that you cannot discriminate against a person because they are heterosexual either - and this is the sole reason straight couples are included under the Civil Union Bill. So those who say that we need civil unions to give a minority legal rights under Human Rights Legislation is downright dishonest. If the gay community was included as a "minority", with ethnic groups under our BORA, the only reason we would need sexual orientation as a prohibited form of discrimination is so that heterosexual people would not be discriminated against.

It is clear that the "minority" line has been sold to Labor list MP Ashraf Choudhary who has said, as his reasoning to support the legislation:

"If the law allows one minority group in our society to be discriminated against then all minorities are vulnerable."

"I note that Britain's two Muslim MPs, Mohammad Sarwar and Khalid Mahmood, and two other MPs of Indian origin also voted in favour of civil union legislation in the United Kingdom for the same reasons."

But he obviously didn't know it wasn't civil union legislation. Maybe he wasn’t told by the senior Labour MPs who were given the job to influence his vote. The UK Civil Partnerships Act is for gay couples only, as they do not have a sexual orientation provision under their Human Rights legislation enforcing them to include straight couples. Canada and Vermont do. UK partnerships must also not be officiated in religious premises. There's no such restrictions in the NZ legislation

Under the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act, not even an ethnic group - such as Muslims - is referred to as a minority. I am willing to bet that Choudhary has not even read the Human Rights Act, so he obviously wouldn’t know if gay people are classed as a minority. He is a list puppet for Labour.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>


Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>


Lyndon Hood: Notes On National’s Election Campaign, In Poem Form

Nationyl’s bitumen-ing / As they du du / Seed groweth / River floweth / Then ‘dozer drives thru / Highway ensu. More>>