Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Kulturkampf comes to New Zealand

Larry Baldock's Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill has been drawn from the ballot. The bill would define marriage as being between a man and a woman, and furthermore also amend the Bill of Rights Act (not the Human Rights Act?) "so that it can no longer be considered discriminatory to actively promote marriage". Shorn of its pro-marriage language, this means licensing government discrimination against unmarried or civil unioned couples, while providing incentives for those who choose the state-preferred option of marriage.

As a liberal, I believe that the government should not be preferring or legally privileging any relationship between consenting adults. Social arrangements - who people live with and how - are rightly matters for the individual, and the state should express no preference. It should not be trying to use the law to "guide" people; instead it should step back, provide a neutral legal framework, and leave people to make their own choices. Anything more is theocracy - or as Lyndon Hood put it, "the spiritual equivalent of making the Trains Run on Time".


Oh my gosh! This the first I'd heard of that bill. Sounds terrifying. Will that pass?!?

Posted by Anonymous : 5/04/2005 08:45:00 PM

I'm really not sure. I can't imagine Labour going for it - the amendments to the BORA should rule that out - but OTOH that's kindof the point. This is Kulturkampf; the aim isn't to pass the bill, but to force people to vote against it, thus allowing UF to whip up their support base...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/04/2005 09:47:00 PM