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SPCS Response to NZ Young Labour re Civil Unions

Press Release 25 June 2004

SPCS Response to NZ Young Labour re Civil Unions

"Love doesn't discriminate and neither should the law," is the deluded catchcry of the confused individuals promoting the Civil Union Bill. Young Labour President, Michael Wood, has made this call. Conor Roberts, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Civil Unions, has said it too. The Labour-led Government and its hangers-on seem to genuinely believe it to be true.

The last time we heard this nonsense was from the lips of a young blonde "hooker" who was interviewed in a recent TV3 documentary that screened at 7.30 p.m. The programme investigating the ‘glamorous’ lifestyle of an older Wellington "whorehouse" operator (yes the TV female interviewer used the term "whorehouse" and "hooker"). The interviewer asked the prostitute whether she felt repulsed by some of the men who paid for her sexual services and whether she ever chose to withhold them from any unsavoury males.

The "hooker" was forthright in her reply denying that she had ever shown any discrimination towards her male clients. All her clients were as worthy as any other of her love and sexual favours she said. She was there to perform a service and therefore she saw it as a virtue to show no favours or discrimination provided the money had been paid up front for the service.

Anyone in a committed relationship of marriage who would defend this approach to lovemaking has no understanding of real love. The sleazy counterfeit offered and defended by a "hooker" and accepted by her clients does conform to the "love doesn’t discriminate" philosophy claimed by its supporters to undergird the Civil Union Bill.

It may be news to the promoters of the Bill that love DOES discriminate. Let any husband try and convince his wife that love does not discriminate and he will soon find out that he is speaking nonsense! Let any wife try and convince her husband the same nonsense! To claim that love does NOT discriminate is an utter absurdity!

The unique love that forms the basis of the marriage partnership is exclusively confined to that between a man and a woman and NOT to same-sex couples. Only that kind of love has the potential to lead to children who are united biologically with both life-long committed parents - comprising both a mother (wife) and a father (husband).

To claim that the actions and motivation of love is equivalent to the proper application of the law is an absurdity! It is a given that the law is blind. Genuine love that undergirds marriage is not blind. It discriminates!

While judges who are often able to apply genuine discretion can apply the law, they do so only within certain defined narrow constraints. Marriage sets the expectations of definite boundaries to partners as it is inherently a monogamous relationship that is formed on the basis of life-long commitment, trust, fidelity, faithfulness and genuine partnership.

The claim that the law must not discriminate is correct, providing the law is being applied to persons who have committed truly EQUIVALENT acts. That is why on conviction of an offence under the law, different convicted individuals who commit the SAME offence, must be treated equally when sentencing is carried out by the Courts. Offences are defined within specified categories and thereby in sentencing, equivalent acts must be treated the same way in law.

A marriage is NOT equivalent to a de facto relationship (same-sex or heterosexual). Marriage is NOT the equivalent of a civil union under the proposed bill, as marriage can never be applied to same-sex couples, based on its unique character. It is just to discriminate between relationships that are fundamentally different.

Marriage is fundamentally and undeniably different from a civil union and the law must recognise this. It is not the task of the law to treat the two as equivalent. This is exactly what the Civil Union Bill does. It is fundamentally dishonest. It is reminiscent of the Prostitution Reform Act that treats the work of prostitutes and those who run businesses of prostitution as though theirs was legitimate work, thereby sending out a clear message that it is an occupation worthy of consideration as a source of employment. Prostitution is treated under this law as a business like any other and yet it is fundamentally different from every other form of legitimate business.

ENDS


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