Friday, February 11, 2005

National: the party of bigotry

In a piece in his weekly newsletter, Murray McCully exposes National's true colours as the party of bigotry by accusing the government of "officially endors[ing]" homosexuality in its "no rubba, no hubba hubba" ads. How? By showing a gay couple in some ads, getting up to exactly what the straight couple get up to in the rest.

McCully seems to find this offensive - not to mention threatening, judging by the number of times he mentions his heterosexuality in such a short piece. And his preferences are quite clear: gays shouldn't be seen on TV, and should get back in the closet with women and Maori, where they belong. It's the sort of attitude you'd expect to see from the bigots in United Future and NZFirst, not from the chief political strategist of a supposedly mainstream party like National, which aspires to represent all New Zealanders. But then, it's clear from their overwhelming opposition to the Civil Union Bill where the majority of National MP's stand - and it isn't on the side of tolerance and diversity.

As for the ad itself, it's not an endorsement - it's a depiction of reality. Gays exist, and (Shock! Horror!) have sex. And that's something that Murray McCully and his ilk are simply going to have to get used to.

(Thanks to Just Left for pointing this out)


not that there would be anything substantially wrong with the government endorsing homosexuality (and heterosexuality in alternate ads).

Posted by Genius : 2/11/2005 11:59:00 PM

Yes there would be. Just as I don't want state interference in the religious or social choices of citizens, I also don't want it interfering with their sexual choices. The government should not be telling people to be Christian or Muslim, married or hitched or de facto or single, parents or childless, straight, gay or celibate. They're all private matters to be worked out by those concerned.

Where there is a compelling reason to intervene (such as public health), education is preferable to legal sanctions, and the material should reflect the diversity of people's choices. Which is exactly what is being done here.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/12/2005 09:16:00 AM

Ahh... you small government people.

Posted by Genius : 2/12/2005 09:51:00 AM

Perhaps he just doesn't want to see guys kissing?

Posted by Muerk : 2/13/2005 12:56:00 PM

Genius: you should know by now that I'm not a "small government" person at all. I am however interested in maximising human freedom, and while government is a tool for doing this, sometimes it really is best if they just leave us the hell alone.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/13/2005 11:44:00 PM

Muerk: If so, then the proper response is to change the channel. As far as I know, nobody is forcing him to watch it (anymore than anyone is forcing me to watch Holmes)

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/13/2005 11:46:00 PM

I wonder if Mr McCully would be happier with this script:

(scene: a bar. two men are having a beer and not behaving homosexually in the least)
Voice over: "If you are a homosexual New Zealander - and we are by no means saying that you should be, or that we in any way endorse such behaviour, despite our acknowledgement of it's legality - there are certain practices (which, again, we in no way endorse) that you may or may not participate in, and which present a danger of infection by various pathologies. While in no way endorsing these activities, and with a special note that the people who made this ad are not in any way homosexual - and neither is Murray McCully by the way (let's get that straight, pardon the pun) - we suggest that you use protection when indulging in said non-government-endorsed activities."
(two guys clink glasses and wink at each other - or is that too homosexual?)

Posted by Anonymous : 2/14/2005 12:45:00 PM

Government has an infinite number of tools for influencing public attitudes towards minorities or anything else for that matter. I think it should use them when it calculates that the benefits outweigh the costs. The exact method of that calculation is up for debate.
a blanket opposition to it using such subtle tools doesnt make much sense to me sounds like some sort of a compromise to small government people (because they get all shirty about this government having oppinions and objectives).

Posted by Genius : 2/15/2005 12:51:00 PM