Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Civil Unions “Anathema” to Marilyn Waring

22 October 2004

‘Human Rights’ via Gay Civil Unions “Anathema” to Marilyn Waring

“Queer Nation”, TV2’s (Adults Only) programme, the one that “sizzles with sex appeal” according to its promo as it “explores the issues in New Zealand's gay and lesbian community”, featured a punishing attack last night on the concept of civil unions. The attack was delivered by 52 year-old Professor Marilyn Waring, who was introduced as “probably one of New Zealand’s best known lesbian women”.

In what was described as “a frank interview” with Queer Nation presenter Steven Oates (screened on Thursday night 21 October 2004), Ms Waring denounced the shallow and misguided thinking that underlies the Civil Union Bill and its companion bill, the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill, stating: “I don’t want to live in a country that thinks that separate but equal has anything to do with human rights so I am completely opposed to civil unions.” It is noteworthy that 95.5% of the 6,170 written submissions received by the Justice and Electoral Committee on the Civil Union Bill opposed the Bill, and Ms Waring was one of them.

The “Queer Nation” interview explored Waring’s “political past” noting: “She’s been a farmer, a Member of Parliament, a highly respected author and is known internationally for her work in human rights and political economics. She’s on the Board of the Reserve Bank. She is Professor of Public Policy at Massey University at Albany.”

Oates said that “it was while she was still in parliament that Marilyn was ‘outed’ as a lesbian”. Apparently Ms Waring considers herself well-qualified to detect any lack of “social justice” in proposed legislation dealing with “gay” issues: “…if you have any kinds of inklings of social justice you start to smell it, see it, taste it, really quickly ...” she said categorically.

Oates informed viewers that Ms Waring “has always had a strong focus in her life on Human Rights. Being lesbian has also made her focus on Queer Human Rights.” He explained that “she stirred the pot recently when she made a submission on the Civil Union Bill.”

Waring explained:

“Well I made a submission opposing the Civil Union legislation. Marriage is a civil and political right and civil and political rights are not negotiable. You can’t have half a right. If it’s a civil or political right in international law it’s immediately enforceable. It’s not something that progressively – you know – as it depends on what you can politically get away with you might get there. So my submission is focused very much on the fact that civil union was a separate but equal approach and we’ve seen separate but equal approaches throughout history. Apartheid is a separate but equal approach. Segregation in the American south was a separate but equal approach. The internment of Japanese people in World War 2 was a separate but equal approach and gay people wearing pink triangles being taken away before even Jews were taken away, was a separate but equal approach. And I don’t want to live in a country that thinks that separate but equal has anything to do with human rights SO I AM COMPLETELY OPPOSED TO CIVIL UNIONS.


“Many of the people campaigning for civil rights in New Zealand don’t believe that marriage is politically possible here. But Marilyn says we only need to look to Canada for the right approach.”


They really understood in terms of the way in which their jurisdiction operates that they had to wait until they knew they could win. And they knew they could win in three provinces at the same time. And I just think that it’s crazy to be impetuous and to have a foundation of bad law. And to have any New Zealanders under any misapprehension that gays have paternalistically been given a human right when they have been subject to another discrimination treatment is anathema to me.


“Marilyn believes the Canadian marriage cases will provide case law for any future court challenges to New Zealand marriage law and while she sees a continued future for herself and the advancement of Human Rights she’s also notes that she’s changing.

Marilyn’s closing comments dealt with her new found interests away from rural life…

“I’m mellowing as well you know….”

REFERENCES to Marilyn Waring’s views [1 –2].

[1] “Civil union bill doesn't go far enough for gay ex-MP” by Jon Stokes.
NZ Herald 24.08.2004.


[2] “Who's Counting: Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics” Video (1995: National Film Board of Canada).

Described as: “-- despite its rather dry title -- is a fascinating documentary about this New Zealand activist and lesbian.”


[1] See the transcript of the film Gayrights/Special Rights: Inside the Homosexual Agenda produced by Jeremiah Films. http://www.christian-apologetics.org/html/Gay_rights_Special_rights.htm

[2] See: “Does the Civil Union Bill Legalise Marriage?” SPCS Press Release. Wednesday, 30 June 2004. http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0406/S00298.htm


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news