Pacific community discusses marriage equality
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 10:39p.m.
By Jenny Suo
Members of the Pacific community have met tonight to discuss Labour MP Louisa Wall's private member's bill on same-sex marriage.
It comes after Labour MP Sua William Sio warned it would lose Labour the Pacific Island vote and cost them the next election.
This debate on one of our most polarising subjects was held in a central Auckland church, and Ms Wall was doing her best to convince a community that is largely religious to support her bill.
“For me, this is about the state allowing two consenting adults to marry, while at the same time allowing churches to continue to define what marriage means to them,” she says.
Gay Green Party MP Kevin Hague spoke in support, while New Zealand First once again called for a referendum and remained ambiguous on whether it will abstain.
“If the referendum comes back and says the majority of New Zealanders support gay marriage, then that's democracy. We support that,” says New Zealand First MP Leaufaamulia Asenati Lole-Taylor.
Some in the meeting felt like they hadn't been getting their say on this issue, but that was point of tonight’s meeting. And Ms Wall says she's confident her bill will not hurt Labour in the next election.
“What I think that this enables New Zealanders to understand, in terms of where I stand, is that we're very clear in Labour that we believe in the basic human rights of all New Zealanders.”
The bill will have its first reading in Parliament next month and is likely to pass it's first reading.
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3/10/2012 12:12:09 p.m.
Simone H. wrote:
I think Marama talks a lot of sense. She is right- alcohol and drugs are far more dangerous to our tamariki, rangitahi and mokopuna than takatapui or whakawahine. Let that be our focus, not attacking people on the basis of sexuality or gender identity.
26/09/2012 12:32:52 p.m.
William, I am glad to hear that you do not intend to give Colin Craig support because of his stance on our water rights under the Treaty. Good on you for that. I am not a Christian myself, though. You are right about society being undermined, but I think that is because the National and ACT parties are pursuing destructive policies that undermine the welfare state and cutting back government social services for those in need. Which is why I support Hone Harawira and his Mana Party. As for immorality, it depends what you call immoral. I think alcohol and drug abuse is immoral, yet these so-called "Christians' did very little to cut back the excessive consumption of alcohol in our societies. Whichever wise tipuna labelled it "wai piro" (rotten water!) knew what they were saying!Why do many of these Christians not seem to care as much about alcohol and drug abuse and addiction, because that is what *really* harms families- not recognising that takatapui should have the same rights to marry as our 'straight' children do.
24/09/2012 11:22:45 a.m.
Simone H wrote:
I am also a Maori and a Christian and I disagree with you, William. You say that you do not agree with Colin Craig on Maori issues, presumably when it comes to our water ownership. I do not agree with you about our traditions and tipuna, either. Takatapui and whakawahine existed amongst us before Christianity came to this country and before the pakeha arrived, we were an inclusive culture.
21/09/2012 12:44:00 p.m.
This is a powerful emotive debate that stimulates the interest of all peoples alike. I Am a Proud Maori and im also a Chriatian. I agree with Colin Craig and Bob McCoskrie on the issue of marriage and its intended amendment. I do not however agree with their opinions and view points on Maori issues. Its of deep concern to me that the intended amendment to marriage will alter future generations understanding of right and wrong. Louisa Wall is trying to redefine marriage, marriage which is first a biblical institution. I agree when ppl say it pre dates christianity, But it does not pre date the God of Christianity who instituted marriage to begin with. I fear that for future generations the notion of Mum and Dad will no longer be, The notion of grandma and Grandpa will be destroyed. Already there is sexual immorality throughout society as it is. We are quickly losing what is right and what is wrong! Once upon a time prostitution was frowned upon, adultery, being divorced or sex before marriage. Society are so full of problems today because these sexual imorals are being committed and losening societies persumption of right and wrong. Even Our Tupuna will be absolutely disgusted with us, they knew men and women equal pro creation. they understood that it was not natural for same sexes to be together. WHY ARE TRYING TO CHANGE what always has been. Some things are better left the same. Thats my opinion!!
19/09/2012 9:50:02 a.m.
I think the problem that I have with that, Arihia, is who the minority are in this context. And Maori ourselves are a minority and many would say the same about our whenua, our reo and our traditional Treaty rights. Our takatapui and whakawahine mokopuna, rangitahi and tamariki are precious gifts to us and we should treasure and love them, not cast them away because of what some Americanised version of Christianity says. I think you might want to read what Colin Craig has to say about our people's traditional rights to water use and ownership. Maori and Pacific Island Christians need to stop giving their pakeha fundamentalist counterparts free bus passes when it comes to our issues. People like Colin Craig and Bob McCoskrie are not our allies.
16/09/2012 12:01:31 p.m.
Marama. There is no denying the good people in position of influence who have the right ethics toward other people and offer positive help to showing others the way to the future as happened with your son. It would be a perfect influence if the takatapui elders kept their personal lives more discreet but I guess that is easier said than done when everything happens in such a close environment. I wish you and your Whanau well for the future but please accept I cannot agree with the meaning of Marriage being changed from what is currently held dear to so many people. When the majority are affected by change to advantage a minority, it does not feel right.
14/09/2012 10:26:42 a.m.
No, that is not the case at all. I have other takatapui relatives, so I think it is possible that the genetic argument could be at work here. And I know many takatapui and whakawahine who are doing an excellent job undertaking whangai responsibilities for the rest of their whanau because their biological parents are in prison, suffering from alcohol or drug problems or unable to parent properly due to family violence. Why should they be condemned for conscientious service to their whanau? In fact, it is pakeha-biased adoption laws that prevent more from doing their duty, from what my son's partner tells me.And they don't turn out takatapui, for that matter, not usually.
13/09/2012 1:22:27 p.m.
Marama. I think that's the only difficulty I have. You say your son learnt from his takatapui elders which means he learnt his behaviour from them and was not born with it. This is exactly what would happen with children raised by same sex couples who will naturally mimic what they see. I find same sex relationships acceptable between the couples themselves, but not when it involves children because of the constant exposure to what the children would come to accept as a normal way of life when it isn't.
13/09/2012 10:20:47 a.m.
I think the problem that I have with the aggressive fundamentalist way is that it wasn't my iwi's way, and still isn't. I believe that all this homophobia is a pakeha imposition on Maori. In my case, there were takatapui elders, and my son learnt much from them...including how not to go off the rails. I think the only Maori "leaders" that oppose marriage reform are John Tamihere and Willie Jackson. Huh. Talkback hosts. Never had much time for them, still don't.
12/09/2012 7:59:53 p.m.
Marama. Most people I know who criticise the co-habitation of same sex couples criticise the act, not so much the people themselves. I find it easy to relate to friends so inclined and respect them for what they are, but at the same time don't approve of their lifestyle. They know that and in return respect my point of view without it harming our friendship. A bit like finding out a teen age daughter had sex before she was legally old enough. You don't love or care for her any less because of what she did and might still do.
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