Tuesday, June 22, 2004

"Love the fundamentalists, but hate their fundamentalism"

Ouch. Metiria Turei of the Greens has delivered a stinging attack on the opponents of the Civil Unions Bill, calling a spade a spade and pointing out that opposition to the bill is rooted in simple bigotry and homophobia:

"All this talk about upholding the sanctity of marriage is just a PC way of masking rampant homophobia," said Ms Turei, the Greens' Associate Spokesperson on Justice.

And she's right. The underlying assumption of many opponents is that same-sex relationships are "defective" or inferior in some way that makes them unworthy of legal recognition. The Maxim Institute makes this explicit when it draws a distinction between "preferred" and "tolerated" relationships, with only the former worthy of state sanction. You can guess which category they put gays in. Like it or not, "bigotry" is the appropriate word here, and if opponents of the bill don't like it, then they shouldn't be bigots.

But best bit of is a neat play on the homophobe's "love the sinner, but hate the sin" line:

"I urge all supporters of the Civil Union Bill to be tolerant. We should love the fundamentalists, but hate their fundamentalism," she said.


This is why I love the Greens. Despite their perceived fluffiness about tree-hugging and spiritual values, they have been consistent advocates for a secular and liberal society which allows people the freedom to follow their own vision of the good. And they've been the most outspoken defenders of human rights in the present Parliament, opposing government legislation on principle unless it conforms to international human rights standards (though to be fair, Matt Robson has been giving them a run for their money, and gets the No Right Turn stamp of approval as well). No matter what you think of their positions on GE or TV advertising, they can't be faulted on this front.