The state has no authority to reinvent marriage
Bob McCoskrie – National Director, Family First NZ

The state did not invent marriage. It has no authority to re-invent it.

Marriage is not a state invention. It is instructed by nature, reinforced by religion and normally protected by the state. Marriage is a universal and natural social practice.  Every culture has had some institution that resembles what we know as marriage associated with procreation. Every society needs marriage.

Marriage is the only institution we have that creates an area of social reality independent of state control. The legalisation of same-sex marriage would turn the most intimate of human relationships into a legal and political construct.

Marriage is a matter of critical public concern as the record of almost every culture shows. It is about a great deal more than love and commitment. If sexual intercourse between a man and a woman did not normatively lead to children and bring with it a further obligation to care for those children, marriage might not have existed. That some married couples cannot or choose not to have children says nothing about the role or status of marriage.

Marriage encourages the raising of children by the mother and father who conceived them. On average, children raised by their biological parents who are married have the best outcomes in health, education and income, and by far the lowest involvement with the criminal justice system.

Marriage is normatively and necessarily discriminatory. A homosexual cannot legally marry. But neither can a whole lot of other people. A five-year old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. A married man can’t marry another person. A child cannot marry her pet goldfish. A father cannot marry his daughter. A football team cannot enact group marriage – the list is endless. It is disingenuous to complain about rights being taken away, when they never existed in the first place.

It is like trying to argue that Kiri te Kanawa is being discriminated against since she cannot play for the All Blacks, or Richie McCaw can’t play for the Silver Ferns.

If we were to allow same-sex marriage we would still be discriminating against those seeking open, temporary, polygamous, polyandrous, polyamorous (group), incestuous and man/boy unions. Once the fundamental idea of marriage as one man and one woman is tossed out, all types of sexual activity could become permissible.

Same-sex couples have the option of civil unions to recognise their relationship so there is no need to redefine marriage. Same-sex marriage is, by definition, an oxymoron. Everyone has a right to form a legal meaningful relationship. No one has the right, or even a coherent argument, to redefine marriage.

The state did not invent marriage. It has no authority to re-invent it.

People should be allowed to love and decide for themselves
Jimmy Jansen – Uni-Q Wellington

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” (Leviticus, 18:22).

Thank God the Old Testament is not legally binding. Homosexuality, despite being a mortal sin, is not a demonic manifestation of personal corruption or parental negligence, but a naturally occurring sexual preference expressed through sex and character. In a contemporary world, marriage, though laced in moral, religious and legal implications (ask any divorcee), is an expression of love. Gay marriage is no different and should not only be legalised, but celebrated.

Without undermining the Christian faith, Leviticus 18:22, is a perfect example of misguided thinking. “Abomination”, the word used, translates into “unclean,” a word also used to describe the consumption of pork (sinful bacon?) in the same chapter.

Suffice to say, Leviticus cannot be taken seriously these days. Other verses in the Bible condemning homosexuality are equally questionable. Bearing this mind, how is it that such dated scripture features so strongly in some contemporary churches?

Prejudice, governed by blind faith, about gay marriage, is merely ignorance of a minority group. Religious or not, people fear, dislike, and subsequently reject what is different to them. And biblical echoes of damnation don’t exactly pave the way for social enlightenment.

Without judging society too harshly, a significant portion of the world has embraced “Civil Unions” as a substitute. Though this allows homosexuals to register as a couple, civil unions are limited.

The degree of restriction varies between countries. In New Zealand, civil unions share the same perks as marriage with the exception of joint adoption. Obviously, homosexual couples can’t just pop out a couple of kids, thus limiting them to surrogacy, sperm donors, and adoption. Restricting adoption, despite there being plenty of unloved children, often makes having a family impossible for same-sex couples.

While some people dismiss marriage as a social construct of the church, gay marriage is about equality and what is fair. Refusing homosexuals the right to love and marry who they want undermines them as citizens. Discriminating against gay marriage refuses, by extension, the reality of gay love.

Gay marriage, despite the propaganda, is not an attack on humanity and would not have global consequences although certain unnamed religious leaders in Rome would have you believe otherwise.

Allowing people, as they have for thousands of years, to express their love by “making it official” is a basic human right. Regardless of individual hatred and distain, people should be allowed to love and decide for themselves.

Oppression is the product of stupidity. Liberation is intelligent success. Gay marriage should be legal. Otherwise, by all means, deny us our civil rights, but exempt us from other social obligations like taxes.

It seems only fair.

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