1 comment on “Redefining marriage ‘an arrogant act of cultural vandalism’: New Zealand family leader”

Redefining marriage ‘an arrogant act of cultural vandalism’: New Zealand family leader

by Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent
Reposted from LifeSiteNews.com

AUCKLAND, NZ, August 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – More than 30 same-sex couples have “married” over the last 24 hours, as New Zealand’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act has come into effect.

Despite little debate, and strong opposition, politicians chose to pass the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill 77 to 44 in April. Marriage now lawfully means “the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Louisa Wall, the Labour MP who presented the bill that redefined marriage, was present at a lesbian couple’s wedding at the Auckland Unitarian Church in Ponsonby. She said it was an “amazing day to be here to celebrate” the couple’s “commitment they have to one another and the institution of marriage.”

But others say the new law defies the national mood and common sense.

“Despite their grandiose view, the politicians never had the authority to redefine marriage,” said Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ. “They committed an arrogant act of cultural vandalism with no clear public mandate.”

Many people have commented on the bias in reporting on the day’s events. The mainstream media featured laudatory coverage of the weddings themselves, giving little attention to opponents’ views.

Australian couple Trent Kandler and Paul McCarthy were flown from Australia to Wellington by Tourism New Zealand, where a “wedding” was held at the national museum, Te Papa. The company hopes to stimulate wedding tourism from same-sex couples around the world.

Several organizations took advantage of the moment by offering free prizes to homosexual partners.

Air NZ provided an in-flight “wedding” ceremony for a lesbian couple, Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau, where Jesse Tyler Fergusson from the TV series Modern Family was present. The package included a honeymoon at a Palms Spring Resort in the U.S.

Lance Huxford is calling for people to complain to the media, saying he is “shocked at the unbalanced coverage of the same sex marriage law coming into effect on both TV 1 and TV 3.”

Pro-marriage groups and most churches continue to promote marriage as being between one man and one woman despite an ever-increasing attitude that marriage is simply about happiness and love.

“We must continue to speak up for marriage as uniting a man and a woman with each other and any children born from that union” Dame Colleen Bayer, national director of Family Life International NZ, said. “For the sake of our children, we cannot stand by and let marriage be mocked.”

For more information on how to make a complaint and the grounds under which a complaint can be made visit Broadcasting Standards Authority, visit www.bsa.govt.nz

Complaints may be addressed to the Chief Executive of the broadcaster:

TVNZ
P O Box 3819
AUCKLAND
Phone: (09) 916 7000
Fax: (09) 916 6864
www.tvnz.co.nz

TV3
Private Bag 92 624
AUCKLAND
Phone: (09) 377 9730
Fax: (09) 366 5999
www.tv3.co.nz

0 comments on “The debate that wasn’t: New Zealand’s rushed marriage revolution”

The debate that wasn’t: New Zealand’s rushed marriage revolution

The following blog post by Carolyn Moynihan raised concerns over the lack of debate held over the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill and its subsequent passing into law last Wednesday 17th April.  Thank you Carolyn for writing so eloquently the thoughts of many who have had concerns over the lack of debate and the sheer determination to stamp over anyone who believes that marriage should only be for one man and one woman.   This article was published in  Conjuguality.

The debate that wasn’t: New Zealand’s rushed marriage revolution
Last night (April 17) 77 people changed the institution of marriage in New Zealand from a conjugal union with the potential for generating children and providing them with the nurture of their own mother and father into “a union of 2 people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity” with the potential for systematically depriving children of their mother or father, or both. All in the name of “love”. Starting in August.

Actually, just 17 people managed to do that, because the New Zealand Parliament currently has 121 members and if 17 of the 77 who finally voted for the “definition of marriage” bill had voted against it and with the 44 who opposed the move, this South Sea revolution could have been put down and time taken to properly discuss the whole idea. The notion put about by MPs and journalists that there has been a “fierce debate” on same-sex marriage over the past seven or eight months is sheer fantasy.

The truth is that those in favour of law change didn’t want a public debate. They didn’t broach the subject in the last election campaign (nor the one before) but sprang it on us through a private member’s bill — fortuitously drawn from the ballot soon after it was introduced by lesbian MP Louisa Wall. Calls for a referendum — taken up by New Zealand First, a minor party in the government, and by a few other MPs — were rejected by the majority in the House on grounds that include: it would be difficult for people to exercise an informed vote (of course, if you won’t give them time to be informed) and “minority rights issues” should not be the subject of a referendum (even though no-one has shown us how people incapable of marriage can have a right to it).

What many politicians appear to want most of all is to show that “we are modern/tolerant/compassionate too”. This applies to the several MPs whose first — and last — word on the subject was “It won’t affect my marriage” or some similar statement. Prime Minister John Key led the way here and other National (“conservative”) members followed suit. Key himself took his cue from Barack Obama, declaring his support for gay marriage the day after Obama announced his, and also from British Prime Minister David Cameron who nailed his rainbow colours to the mast some time ago, causing a mutiny in his Conservative Party’s ranks.

Read more at Conjuguality

0 comments on “Catholic Bishops consider passing of Same Sex Marriage Bill bizarre”

Catholic Bishops consider passing of Same Sex Marriage Bill bizarre

New Zealand Catholic Bishops who consistently opposed the Marriage Definition Bill throughout the Parliamentary process have expressed their deep sadness that, despite the fact that such a large percentage of the public are opposed to this, it has become law.

“We find it bizarre that what has been discarded is an understanding of marriage that has its origin in human nature and common to every culture, and that almost all references to husband and wife will be removed from legislation referencing marriage. We know many New Zealanders stand with us in this,” said Archbishop John Dew, President of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference.

“Marriage is the essential human institution that predates religion and state. It is a committed union between a man and a woman which has a natural orientation towards the procreation of new human life,” Archbishop Dew said.

“Marriage is founded on sexual difference and the traditional definition of marriage reflects this unique reality,”

“This uniqueness requires a name and definition which distinguishes marriage from any other form of relationship,” he said.

“We’ve been assured that our religious freedom to teach and practice marriage according to our religious beliefs is protected and we will continue to ensure that this freedom is upheld.” Archbishop John Dew said.

Reposted from The Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand

2 comments on “Disappointment at passing of same-sex marriage bill”

Disappointment at passing of same-sex marriage bill

Family Life International NZ is disappointed that most politicians chose to vote for the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill last night, despite there being a reasonable amount of opposition to it.

True marriage, we believe, can only be between one man and one woman. Marriage offers stability to society and provides for the future prosperity of our nation. Many New Zealander’s believe this to be true and their concerns have been largely ignored by the majority of Ministers.

Supporters of same-sex ‘marriage’ tell those of us who oppose the legislation that it will not affect us, that it is about love, equality and human rights. But this legislation does affect those who are not in support of same-sex marriage. We are not allowed to speak our minds. We are called ‘haters’, ‘bigots’. What will come next?

Family Life International NZ is concerned that even with the limited clause which intends to protect religious organisations who, by faith must refuse to officiate at same-sex weddings, it does not go far enough. The clause does not protect independent celebrants or those who are at odds with their own Church’s position on same-sex marriage, and it does not protect ordinary service providers. Will we see situations arise such as in Canada where business owners are persecuted because of their refusal to offer services to same-sex couples?

Finally and most importantly, the welfare of children is at the forefront of our minds. Railroading the Marriage Amendment Bill through parliament has meant that discussion around the rights of the child have not been discussed properly. Evidence is clear that children thrive best when they are brought up in a home with a loving mother and father who are committed in a marriage relationship. Why would we legislate for anything less for our children?

The nature of civil marriage has now changed in New Zealand. Introducing same-sex marriage does change the meaning of marriage. It changes people’s perception of what marriage is. In the end, parliament’s decision will lead us to the absolute destruction of marriage and family.

0 comments on “New Zealand becomes 13th country to legalize gay ‘marriage’”

New Zealand becomes 13th country to legalize gay ‘marriage’

New Zealand has become the 13th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament Wednesday night 77 votes to 44.

Reaction from the supporters of the legislation has been jubilant. Louisa Wall, who submitted the Private Member’s Bill, said, “This third reading is our road towards healing and including all citizens in our state institution of marriage regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

However, while supporters of the legislation are celebrating, many New Zealanders are concerned at how fast it has moved through the parliamentary process, and the effects it will have on the country.

“In passing the ‘shot-gun’ same-sex marriage bill, Parliament has chosen to reject the obvious cultural and natural character of marriage and the subsequent creation and care of children, and made marriage just about partnership,” said Bob McCroskie, National Director of Family First.

“In ramming through this bill in a shameful way without due consideration, and with no clear public mandate, politicians have committed an arrogant act of cultural vandalism.”

The bill, which had its first reading in August 2012, only a month after it was introduced, redefines marriage to include same-sex and transgender couples. The law also allows same-sex couples to adopt children, a consequence of the legislation that has not been widely understood within New Zealand.

There are concerns that the rights of children have been overlooked. “With the accompanying consequence of changes to adoption laws, politicians have also weakened the rights of the child in favour of pandering to the demands of adults,” said McCroskie. “A child has a right to a mum and a dad. We should not set out in public policy to deny a child that basic right. This is not a sexuality issue. This is a gender issue. The gender of the parents does matter to a child.”

It has been stated throughout the debate that legalizing same-sex marriage will not affect others, however Dame Colleen Bayer, National Director of Family Life International NZ, argued that same-sex marriage does affect those who oppose it. “Supporters of same-sex ‘marriage’ tell those of us who oppose the legislation that it will not affect us, that it is about love, equality and human rights. But this legislation does affect those who are not in support of same-sex marriage. We are not allowed to speak our minds. We are called ‘haters’, ‘bigots’. What will come next?”

Archbishop John Dew, President of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, reportedly reacted to the passage of the legislation, saying: “We find it bizarre that what has been discarded is an understanding of marriage that has its origin in human nature and common to every culture, and that almost all references to husband and wife will be removed from legislation referencing marriage. We know many New Zealanders stand with us in this.”

Civil Unions have been legal in New Zealand since April 2005.

The changes to the Marriage Act will take effect in August 2013.

Reposted from LifeSiteNews.com

1 comment on “Same-sex “marriage” bill not passed yet”

Same-sex “marriage” bill not passed yet

Supporters of same-sex “marriage” are showing their arrogance today as they begin to celebrate the win they expect tonight when the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is read for the third and final time in Parliament.

I can’t help but think of the story of the tortoise and the hare.  The hare, so sure that he would win the race, got distracted and had a rest.  Meanwhile, the tortoise steadily kept on going, faithful to the very end.  It was not the cocky hare who won the race, but the tortoise, slow, steady and faithful.

The Bill may very well go through.  If it does, it is because the politicians have been swayed by the gay lobby’s cry of “love” and “equality”.  They will not have listened to the very valid arguments against the legalisation of same-sex “marriage”.

If, the Bill is not passed, it will be because Truth has prevailed, having been heard above the noise of the same-sex supporters.

No one should be so arrogant as to think that this is in the bag.  This is the eleventh hour.  Anything can happen yet.

0 comments on “Same-sex “marriage” and the threat to religious freedom”

Same-sex “marriage” and the threat to religious freedom

John-Henry Westen and Rachael Wong outside St Patrick's Cathedral Auckland 14 April 2013The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is due to be read in Parliament for the third and final time tomorrow evening.  If this Bill is passed in the House tomorrow night, it will be legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in New Zealand.  No one will have the right to refuse wedding services (such as venues, flowers, catering) based on their views that marriage can not ever be between two people of the same sex.

Out of concern, Family Life International NZ held two talks given by John-Henry Westen (Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews.com) on the topic – one in Wellington last Thursday night, and the other this past Sunday.  Thousands of people have been blessed with the wisdom of John-Henry over the last two weeks, in particular youth.  Canada is John-Henry’s home, and same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2005.  Enough time has elapsed to see just what the ramifications of legalising same-sex marriage has been for Canadian’s.  New Zealand should heed the warnings.

John-Henry Westen spoke about the following cases where legalising same-sex marriage and normalising homosexual behaviour has led to ordinary citizens finding themselves in trouble with the law.

  • A couple who ran a bed and breakfast refused to let a room to a homosexual couple and kindly asked them to find another bed and breakfast.  As a result the Christian couple were sued and their business was shut down.
  • A printer in a district where there were numerous printing businesses was approached by a customer wishing to have homosexual activist material printed.  The printer, explaining that he disagreed with the material, asked respectfully for the customer to choose another printing company.  Because he refused the printing job, the man was sued and lost his home trying to defend himself.
  • A teacher in Alberta wrote a letter to the editor in support of traditional marriage (note it had nothing to do with what he said in the classroom), and was fired by the school because of his views.
  • A well-known Canadian sportscaster from Toronto was fired after he sent a tweet supporting traditional marriage. He lodged a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, however, it has just been reported that it was dismissed.
  • When same-sex marriage was introduced, marriage commissioners were fired if they were not in support of the legislation.
  • The Knights of Columbus were sued when they refused to hire out a hall in their ownership to a lesbian couple who were wishing to celebrate their union.
  • A Bishop in Calgary was sued $100,000.00 when he wrote the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in the newspaper.
  • In Ontario, a parish priest allowed a same-sex couple to serve at Mass.  There were 15 parishioners who felt that this was not on, given the Church’s teaching about chastity, marriage and homosexuality.  The parishioners wrote to the Bishop expressing their concern.  The Bishop then wrote to the parish priest explaining that it was unacceptable, only to be sued by one of the homosexual men who were serving for $25,000.00.  Each of the parishioners were also sued for $20,000.00.  Thankfully, it was all settled and the charges were dropped.

Each of these concrete examples of persecution because of religious beliefs are shocking.  It is truely concerning when we realise that this is just the beginning.   John-Henry explained the thinking of the gay lobby that is so desperate to transform what is ‘normal’ saying

“The very first and most important point is to stamp out this opposition.  Remember when I said it was likely conscience driven?  Guess what?  Once you pass same sex marriage your conscience is still there.   But then, the thinking goes ‘but that’s because these kind of people exist in society, we’ve got to stamp out this type of racism…’ “Well these catholics these christians they keep raising up this kind of prejudice in their children so we’ve got to get to the children.’ They do it through schools”

The evidence is so shocking of the indoctrination of school children that it will leave your blood running cold.

  • One province has a curriculum which is to be taught in all public schools, all Catholic schools, all private schools and most schockingly, by all home schooling families. The programme teaches relativism of all religious groups and equality of all types of families.  One family, sure that they could not be told what to teach in their home, took a case to the Supreme Court and lost on a technicality.
  • Catholic schools in Ontario have been forced to teach about anti-gay bulling, but are not allowed to educate the children about Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
  • The Education Minister of Yucon has just recently said that Catholic schools are not allowed to teach against homosexuality because it is against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is a Charter for all of Canada.

However, John-Henry reminded us that the troubles are worst for those inclined to homosexuality.  He explained that our greatest call and duty as Christians is to love our neighbour citing he Matthew 25:35-40 .

“My brothers and sisters, you have to know that you are called to love… Our brothers and sisters who are inclined to homosexuality are now facing a massive threat with the government stamping approval on this behaviour which they need to know is deadly and we are called to suffer.  And we are called to tell them that it is dangerous for them.  And what about the question ‘when I was inclined to grave sin that would cause my body harm and my soul’s eternal home you didn’t tell me?’  We must love enough to stop same-sex marriage.  We must love enough to tell our brothers and sisters inclined to homosexuality and every other sexual sin that it harms your body and it harms your soul.”

The talk on Sunday, which also included a Prayer Vigil and Procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland was concluded by a short synopsis of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill by an Auckland lawyer, Rachael Wong, Rachael explained that the clause inserted to protect religious ministers in the Bill is very narrow, and questionable.  She is also concerned about children and the changes the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill will make to adoption legislation.  She explains that

“a consequential effect of the bill will be to allow same-sex couples to adopt children by giving them status of spouses… This consequential change to our adoption laws clearly impacts children.  And parliament’s failure to consider the best interests of children throughout the entire legislative process is in contravention of its obligations under the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.”

If New Zealand’s politicians truely have the best interests of all our citizens at heart, they will choose to put this Bill to rest tomorrow and keep marriage as a union legally recognised by the State as only being between one man and one woman.

0 comments on “Rebuttals to arguments for same-sex marriage”

Rebuttals to arguments for same-sex marriage

The following is an amazing article rebutting arguments for same-sex “marriage”.  It is written without any religious bias.  I encourage you to follow the link back to the original post and read the comments, there are some very telling ones from homosexuals who live chaste lives.

Examining the most common arguments for redefining marital unions …and understanding why they are flawed
By Brandon Vogt – OSV Newsweekly, 1/13/2013
Perhaps no issue is more nerve-wracking today than same-sex marriage. It’s a magnet for controversy, evoking strong reactions from those on either side of the debate. But beneath all the fiery passion and rhetoric, there are real arguments to evaluate. In this article, we’ll examine the 10 most common ones made in favor of same-sex marriage, many of which you’ve probably heard before. By pointing out the flaws, we’ll show how each argument ultimately comes up short.

However, before we begin, let’s note a few things. First, this article concerns civil marriage — marriage as defined and promoted by the state. It doesn’t deal with the Church’s sacramental understanding, although the two often overlap. Second, the responses to the arguments are emphatically nonreligious. They don’t depend on any sacred text or divine revelation. They’re based on reason, philosophy, biology and history. Third, this article only refutes arguments in favor of same-sex marriage. It doesn’t touch upon the many positive arguments supporting traditional marriage.

One more note: This is not an attack on people with same-sex attractions. All people, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Instead, this article is a rational look at whether civil marriage, an institution that touches all people and cultures, should be redefined.

1. Marriage has evolved throughout history, so it can change again.

Different cultures have treated marriage differently. Some promoted arranged marriages. Others tied marriage to dowries. Still others saw marriage as a political relationship through which they could forge family alliances.

But all these variations still embraced the fundamental, unchanging essence of marriage. They still saw it, in general, as a public, lifelong partnership between one man and one woman for the sake of generating and raising children.

This understanding predates any government or religion. It’s a pre-political, pre-religious institution evident even in cultures that had no law or faith to promote it.

Yet, even supposing the essence of marriage could change, would that mean it should? We know from other areas of life such as medical research and nuclear physics that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you ought. After all, such action may not be ethical or serve the common good. Even if this argument had historical basis, it would not necessarily be a good reason to change the meaning of marriage.

2. Same-sex marriage is primarily about equality.

This argument is emotionally powerful since we all have deep, innate longings for fairness and equality. Moreover, history has given us many failures in this area, including women banned from voting and African-Americans denied equal civil rights. The question, of course, is whether same-sex couples are denied equality by not being allowed to marry each other.

To answer that, we first must understand equality. Equality is not equivalency. It does not mean treating every person or every group in exactly the same way. To use an analogy, men and women have equal rights, but because they significantly differ they require separate restrooms. Equality means treating similar things similarly, but not things that are fundamentally different.

Second, there are really two issues here: the equality of different people and the equality of different relationships. The current marriage laws already treat all people equally. Any unmarried man and unmarried woman can marry each other, regardless of their sexual orientation; the law is neutral with respect to orientation just as it ignores race and religion.

The real question is whether same-sex relationships differ significantly from opposite-sex relationships, and the answer is yes. The largest difference is that same-sex couples cannot produce children, nor ensure a child’s basic right to be raised by his mother and father. These facts alone mean we’re talking about two very different types of relationships. It’s wrong, therefore, to assume the state should necessarily treat them as if they were the same.

Same-sex marriage advocates may argue that it’s discriminatory to favor heterosexual spouses over homosexual couples. With all of the benefits flowing from marriage, this unfairly endorses one set of relationships over another. But if the state endorsed same-sex marriage, it would then be favoring gay “spouses” over unmarried heterosexual couples. The argument runs both ways and is ultimately self-defeating.

3. Everyone has the right to marry whomever he or she loves.

Though catchy, few people truly believe this slogan. Most of us acknowledge there should be at least some limitations on marriage for social or health reasons. For example, a man can’t marry a young child or a close relative. And if a man is truly in love with two different women, he’s legally not allowed to marry both of them, even if both agree to such an arrangement.

So, the real question here is not whether marriage should be limited, but how. To answer that, we must determine why the government even bothers with marriage. It’s not to validate two people who love each other, nice as that is. It’s because marriage between one man and one woman is likely to result in a family with children. Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.

To put it simply, in the eyes of the state, marriage is not about adults; it’s about children. Claiming a “right to marry whomever I love” ignores the true emphasis of marriage.

Notice that nobody is telling anyone whom he or she can or cannot love. Every person, regardless of orientation, is free to enter into private romantic relationships with whomever he or she chooses. But there is no general right to have any relationship recognized as marriage by the government.

4. Same-sex marriage won’t affect you, so what’s the big deal?

Since marriage is a relationship between two individuals, what effect would it have on the rest of us? At first glance, it sounds like a good question, but a deeper look reveals that since marriage is a public institution, redefining it would affect all of society.

First, it would weaken marriage. After same-sex marriage was legislated in Spain in 2005, marriage rates plummeted. The same happened in the Netherlands. Redefining marriage obscures its meaning and purpose, thereby discouraging people from taking it seriously.

Second, it would affect education and parenting. After same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada, the Toronto School Board implemented a curriculum promoting homosexuality and denouncing “heterosexism.” They also produced posters titled “Love Knows No Gender,” which depicted both homosexual and polygamous relationships as equivalent to marriage. Despite parents’ objections, the board decreed that they had no right to remove their children from such instruction. This and many similar cases confirm that when marriage is redefined, the new definition is forced on children, regardless of their parents’ desires.Third, redefining marriage would threaten moral and religious liberty. This is already evident in our own country. In Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., for instance, Catholic Charities can no longer provide charitable adoption services based on new definitions of marriage. Elsewhere, Canadian Bishop Frederick Henry was investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for simply explaining the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in a newspaper column. Examples like this show how redefining marriage threatens religious freedom.

5. Same-sex marriage will not lead to other redefinitions.

When marriage revolves around procreation, it makes sense to restrict it to one man and one woman. That’s the only relationship capable of producing children. But if we redefine marriage as simply a loving, romantic union between committed adults, what principled reason would we have for rejecting polygamist or polyamorous — that is, multiple-person — relationships as marriages?

Thomas Peters, cultural director at the National Organization for Marriage, doesn’t see one. “Once you sever the institution of marriage from its biological roots, there is little reason to cease redefining it to suit the demands of various interest groups,” Peters said.

This isn’t just scaremongering or a hypothetical slippery slope. These aftereffects have already been observed in countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. For example, in Brazil and the Netherlands, three-way relationships were recently granted the full rights of marriage. After marriage was redefined in Canada, a polygamist man launched legal action to have his relationships recognized by law. Even in our own country, the California Legislature passed a bill to legalize families of three or more parents.

Procreation is the main reason civil marriage is limited to two people. When sexual love replaces children as the primary purpose of marriage, restricting it to just two people no longer makes sense.

6. If same-sex couples can’t marry because they can’t reproduce, why can infertile couples marry?

This argument concerns two relatively rare situations: younger infertile couples and elderly couples. If marriage is about children, why does the state allow the first group to marry? The reason is that while we know every same-sex couple is infertile, we don’t generally know that about opposite-sex couples.

Some suggest forcing every engaged couple to undergo mandatory fertility testing before marriage. But this would be outrageous. Besides being prohibitively expensive, it would also be an egregious invasion of privacy, all to detect an extremely small minority of couples.

Another problem is that infertility is often misdiagnosed. Fertile couples may be wrongly denied marriage under such a scenario. This is never the case for same-sex couples, who cannot produce children together.

But why does the government allow elderly couples to marry? It’s true that most elderly couples cannot reproduce (though women as old as 70 have been known to give birth). However, these marriages are so rare that it’s simply not worth the effort to restrict them. Also, elderly marriages still feature the right combination of man and woman needed to make children. Thus they provide a healthy model for the rest of society, and are still capable of offering children a home with a mother and a father.

7. Children will not be affected since there is no difference between same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents.

This argument was most famously stated in 2005 when the American Psychological Association (APA) wrote that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”

However, several recent studies have put that claim to rest. In June, LSU scholar Loren Marks published a peer-reviewed paper in Social Science Research. It examined the 59 studies that the APA relied on for its briefing. Marks discovered that not one of the studies used a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children. Several used extremely small “convenience” samples, recruiting participants through advertisements or word of mouth, and many failed to even include a control group. Furthermore, the studies did not track the children over time and were largely based on interviews with parents about the upbringing of their own children — a virtual guarantee of biased results.

One month later, Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus released a comprehensive study titled “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?” His research used a large, random and national sample and its scope was unprecedented among prior work in this field. Contrary to the APA, Regnerus found that for a majority of outcomes, children raised by parents with same-sex relationships drastically underperformed children raised in a household with married, biological parents.

He quickly noted that his study didn’t necessarily show that same-sex couples are bad parents, but that it did definitively put to rest the claim that there are “no differences” among parenting combinations.

8. Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on bigotry, homophobia and religious hatred.

These accusations are not so much an argument for same-sex marriage as personal attacks designed to shut down real dialogue. Let’s look at each one.

First, bigotry. A quick visit to Facebook, Twitter or any online comment box confirms that for many people, support for traditional marriage is tantamount to bigotry. This holds off-line, too. In November, Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien was pegged “Bigot of the Year” by a gay rights group for simply opposing same-sex marriage in public.

So, is the charge accurate? Well, the definition of bigotry is “unwilling to tolerate opinions different than your own.” However, tolerating opinions does not require enshrining them through law. One can tolerate advocates of same-sex marriage, and seriously engage the idea, while still rejecting it for compelling reasons.

Second, homophobia. This refers to a fear of homosexuality, and the assumption is that people who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they’re irrationally afraid. But as this article shows, there are many good reasons to oppose same-sex marriage that have nothing to do with fear. Branding someone “homophobic” is typically used to end rational discussion.

Third, religious hatred. Some people disagree with same-sex marriage solely for religious reasons. But, again, as this article demonstrates, one can disagree for other reasons, without appealing to the Bible, divine revelation or any religious authority. You don’t need religious teachings to understand, analyze and discuss the purpose of marriage or its effects on the common good.

If these accusations were all true, it would mean that the overwhelming majority of people throughout time — who by and large supported traditional marriage — would likewise be homophobic, intolerant bigots. That would include the most profound thinkers in many different traditions: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Musonius Rufus, Xenophanes, Plutarch, St. Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and Mahatma Gandhi. Most people would reject such an absurdity.

9. The struggle for same-sex marriage is just like the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The suggestion here is that sex is similar to race, and therefore denying marriage for either reason is wrong. The problem, however, is that interracial marriage and same-sex marriage are significantly different.

For instance, nothing prevents interracial couples from fulfilling the basic essence of marriage — a public, lifelong relationship ordered toward procreation. Because of this, the anti-miscegenation laws of the 1960s were wrong to discriminate against interracial couples. Yet same-sex couples are not biologically ordered toward procreation and, therefore, cannot fulfill the basic requirements of marriage.

It’s important to note that African-Americans, who have the most poignant memories of marital discrimination, generally disagree that preventing interracial marriage is like banning same-sex marriage. For example, when Californians voted on Proposition 8, a state amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, some 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor.

According to Peters, “Likening same-sex marriage to interracial marriage is puzzling and offensive to most African-Americans, who are shocked at such a comparison.”

10. Same-sex marriage is inevitable, so we should stand on the right side of history.

On Nov. 6, voters in three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — voted against marriage as it has traditionally been understood. In Minnesota, voters rejected a measure to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Many advocates of same-sex marriage considered this a sign that the marriage tides are turning. But is that true? And if so, how does that shift impact the case for same-sex marriage?

First, if the tide is in fact turning, it’s still little more than a ripple. The states that voted in November to redefine marriage did so with slim margins, none garnering more than 53 percent of the vote. The tiny victories were despite record-breaking funding advantages, sitting governors campaigning for same-sex marriage and strong support among the media.

Before these four aberrations, 32 states had voted on the definition of marriage. Each and every time they voted to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Of the six states that recognized same-sex marriage before the November election, none arrived there through a vote by the people. Each redefinition was imposed by state legislatures and courts. Overall, Americans remain strongly in favor of traditional marriage. Most polls show roughly two-thirds of the country wants to keep marriage as it is.

Yet, even if the tides have recently shifted, that does not make arguments in its favor any more persuasive. We don’t look to other moral issues and say, “Well, people are eventually going to accept it, so we might as well get in line.” We shouldn’t do that for same-sex marriage, either.

2 comments on “Historic Prayer Vigil for Marriage on Parliament Grounds”

Historic Prayer Vigil for Marriage on Parliament Grounds

NZ Prayer Vigil for Marriage in Parliament GroundsAn historic ecumenical Prayer Vigil to protect traditional marriage took place on Parliament grounds last night, Wednesday 27th March, 2013.

About 600 people attended the Vigil, praying for New Zealand’s politicians that they may have the wisdom and the courage to speak up for marriage as being between one man and one woman.  There was a great cross-section of society present including youth, elderly, baby boomers and young families with their children.

People present at the Vigil were not all against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, which politicians were debating through the Committee stage while the Vigil took place.  Approximately 200 mainly younger adults congregated to the side of the Vigil goers, carrying thier rainbow flags, chanting and singing pop songs.

Not everyone who wished to attend could make it down to Wellington for the Vigil.  Many chose to hold prayer vigils in their own homes at the same time, joining their prayers to those at Parliament.

The Bill has now passed through Committee stage, without any amendments.  Organisers are hopeful that the majority of politicians will vote against the Marriage Amendment Bill when it comes up for its third and final reading within the next eight weeks.