'Apartheid' gay analogy shocks
Wed, 14 Nov 2012 12:50p.m.
By Laura McQuillan / 3 News online staff
A former MP's "apartheid" analogy about gay marriage has left some MPs outraged.
Former United Future MP Gordon Copeland gave a submission against the Marriage Amendment Bill today, telling parliament's government and administration select committee marriage has had the same definition "since the beginning of the human race".
Because a same-sex union is "different", Mr Copeland believes the word "marriage" cannot be applied to it.
"In the English language, when two things are different, they are always given different names," he said.
Mr Copeland said the concept of "gay marriage" reminded him of when the apartheid-era South African government invited Maori rugby players to accompany the All Blacks as "honorary whites".
"That suggestion was repugnant to New Zealanders because it debased Maori in pursuit of a thoroughly unreasonable political agenda," Mr Copeland said.
"We put it to you that in proposing that same-sex unions be called `marriage', when they're clearly not marital, this bill debases marriage which is our precious and our most important institution in pursuit, again, of a thoroughly unreasonable political agenda."
Mr Copeland stood for the Conservative Party at the 2011 election, receiving 3.17 percent of the electorate vote.
United Future leader Peter Dunne says he was glad when Mr Copeland left the party in 2007.
"This guy is a serial nutter," he wrote on his Twitter page. "UnitedFuture completely dissociates itself from Copeland's comments - he is now a member of the Conservative Party."
Labour MP Charles Chauvel said Mr Copeland's suggestion that because gay couples are "fundamentally different" to straight couples they "should have a status that should be equal but different to that marriage" was akin to the concept of apartheid.
Mr Copeland disagreed.
"Apartheid was to do with race so it's not a parallel situation and, of course, it was completely and utterly wrong," he said.
"I mentioned apartheid in the context of a government trying to describe two things which were different as the same."
Both Mr Chauvel and the select committee's chairwoman, Labour MP Ruth Dyson, challenged Mr Copeland to consider how his comments might make gay New Zealanders feel.
In response, Mr Copeland said he believed civil unions were sufficient for gay couples.
"We've all seen on television the people having their champagne and so forth at civil unions. So it seems to me that this move - from my point of view - is actually to try and pretend that that's not good enough."
NZN / 3 News
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18/12/2012 9:58:05 p.m.
Gay people are only human and it's not their fault that they become gays, but do respect their feeling of fallen inlove and give them blessing of joining hands as partners like the women and the man falls inlove and get married for the same simple reasons, MADLY INLOVE with each other.
30/11/2012 2:26:07 p.m.
Yes Greg5 marriage is not just about having kids. Tell that to a couple who marry purely for economic reasons or to someone who is sterile.
29/11/2012 11:28:32 a.m.
@ Greg5, they arent partnering up they are committing to spend their life together which is something we already have a name for and its marriage. Marriage equality is about 1 thing and that is treating people as equals and taking down the barriers that lead to discrimination. Marriage has nothing to do with having kids and never has, it is the comming together of 2 individuals to commit to spending their lives together, simple as that
29/11/2012 3:26:08 a.m.
I wholeheartedly agree with Gordon Copeland. Marriage since time immemorial is the partnership of a man and a women. Gay union is as different from marriage as a business joint venture is from the marriage of a man and women. He is right when we do something different we call it something else. Marriage is about children and a man a women partnership it is nothing the same as two homosexuals partnering up. Dont ever call two homosexuals getting together marriage because it isnt that.
26/11/2012 6:10:34 p.m.
I can't believe people are still making a huge fuss about this. Just let same-sex couples marry ..if You don't agree with gay marriage, then don't marry the someone of the same gender as you! ...end of. Then we can focus on issues that are actually causing harm to people in this country, such as child poverty.
19/11/2012 5:06:40 p.m.
having Charlie Chauval and Ruth Dyson on the select committee is it some sort of a ''jackup'' it is
a bit like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
Anyone know who the other members are
17/11/2012 6:52:45 p.m.
Kathy@ good points, but you need to re-vise your church history, Acts 2 describes the first Christian Church well before Roman Catholicism.
17/11/2012 11:18:07 a.m.
I have a 'civil union' with my partner. I personally don't care about the word 'Marriage' but it's the principle of being recognized that our love is just the same as your love. If the opposite sex LOVE each other they marry and so should same sex lovers. I can't believe people can be so scared, narrow minded, selfish, old fashioned, religiously manipulated, jealous, naive etc. Go out of your shell and meet a gay person personally. Would you say the same if your child were gay? If you say yes, you'll be degrading your own child who probably will leave home young, will never see when you're older, forced to live a lie and not be really happy in life or worse commit suicide.
16/11/2012 5:15:47 p.m.
If we are using analogies to apartheid then the current situation with marriage is more akin to it. Currently a gay relationship is legal and can be solemnised, however they can't get legally married as a straight couple can, therefore "separate but equal".
And as far as marriage being solely about procreation, I guess I have to tell my friend who had testicular cancer and had them removed (before he met his wife) he has to divorce his wife because they can't have kids.
@Katrina: the difference is at any stage you could get married to your (assuming) opposite sex partner but a gay man or woman can't marry their partner.
@Dan: no issue with all weddings being civil and then having the option to have a religious ceremony/wedding afterwards/at same time (as Mormons currently do) but I would expand the option to all religions, not just christian wedding, as I am sure most Muslims, Catholics, Mormons, etc would still do the religious side of marriage, not just Christians.
16/11/2012 4:59:16 p.m.
Why do people think that marriage is a Christian thing? It predates Christianity and is practiced by most other cultures around the world.
Same-sex marriage is not even a new concept. The Ancient Romans had same-sex marriage.
It's not redefining marriage - it's bringing it back to what it was.
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