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Is This Really Democracy?

Is This Really Democracy?

PROMOTE is deeply disenchanted with the democratic process - which it says has become a complete farce.

A deeply controversial Bill that has very real potential to bring devastating consequences to future generations of New Zealanders has just passed the third reading with shouts of jubilation. But let's look at the process:

* 95% of submissions to the Select Committee regarding the Civil Union Bill were strongly opposed to its introduction (5892 submitters opposed compared with 278 in support).

* In two polls taken (TV1 and 2ZB) between 75% and 82% of the population were opposed to the Bill's introduction.

* An amendment by National's Justice Minister Richard Worth was proposed which removed the 'same sex marriage' aspects of the Bill and actually included the rights that gays have been crying out for. Yet this amendment was rejected and the Bill, as passed, includes no rights whatsoever other than that of having a state-sanctioned Civil Union Ceremony - it wasn't about rights at all was it!

The proponents of the Bill told us that there is a real need for a ceremony free of the religious trappings of marriage. Interestingly the report from the Select Committee states that over the two years preceding the Bill 38% of marriages were performed by a Religious Celebrant and 47% were performed by a Civil Celebrant, along with 18% in a Registry Office. Oh! - So we have already had access to 'civil unions' for heterosexual couples that wish to solemnize their relationship? Why then has this been sold as necessary for them when the reality is that it isn't!

It is actually a Bill about same-sex marriage after all! The plain fact is, there has been no cry for this legislation from any other faction than the 0.05% of the population who are in same-sex relationships and, rather than a cry for access to hospital visiting rights etc, it is really a cry to 'walk down the isle together'.

The whole argument for the Bill has been one of smoke and mirrors, built on the understanding that if you tell the same lie enough times you'll get people to believe you - you may even start to believe yourself!

This is not a victory for the democratic process at all. No, this is a victory for those who are determined to push their agenda through with dishonest stealth combined with vociferous mockery of their opposition - whom they label as a right wing extremist homophobic minority. But they are the mainstream and they will remember at election time.

The saddest thing is that the proponents of this Bill cannot see beyond their own agenda to the effect on the proceeding generations of children who will pay the price of the normalization of what is typically a volatile, broken family model.

Whatever happened to democracy?

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