Gay marriage bill passes first vote in New Zealand

James K

James is a government policy analyst, and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His interests including wargaming, computer gaming (especially RPGs and strategy games), Dungeons & Dragons and scepticism. No part of any of his posts or comments should be construed as the position of any part of the New Zealand government, or indeed any agency he may be associated with.

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7 Responses

  1. Ryan Noonan says:

    Do we have any expectations about what will happen in subsequent votes?Report

  2. Burt Likko says:

    Looking at the results of the 2011 election, it seems to me that the National Party’s control is pretty slim. The governing coalition is by three votes, or four if the Speaker votes, and five of those votes are by the smaller parties in the coalition. Seems to me that situation is rife with a lot of tail-wagging-the-dog scenarios possible.

    If SSM become a release vote, though, it really comes down to what right, centrist, and left mean on the social issues spectrum of NZ politics. Can you offer any insights to that? Are religious institutions prominent enough to influence political preferences in NZ culture, the way they are in the US, and to a lesser extent in Canada? Or is the culture more secular, like the Scandinavian nations? Is there a distrust of homosexuality left lingering from previous generations, or from Maori culture?

    In all events, good luck to New Zealanders in moving towards equality.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Looking further at the map, it looks like the National Party is stronger in rural areas and Labour in the cities. Is that a factor?Report

      • James K in reply to Burt Likko says:

        National is a more rural party, it has always been the party of farmers.

        Right, left and centre are almost entirely a matter of economic issues in New Zealand, stuff like abortion and gay marriage are not discussed in most party platforms and they don’t get debated during the election campaign. This is why arguably the most conservative party in Parliament (New Zealand First) is actually centrist, their economic views place them in the middle of the political spectrum, plus they have a history of working with both major parties.

        New Zealand is very secular, religion is not something our politicians discuss. The only major exception oddly enough is on the left, particularly with Pacific Islanders and Maori, where churches remain politically significant. Having said that, there are still a number of conservatives in National as you can tell from the voting record, some of those people voted against legalising homosexuality in 1986.

        Incidentally, National’s voting margin is not terribly relevant here, because this isn’t a government bill, but rather a Private Member’s Bill introduced by a Labour MP.Report

  3. stanJames says:

    this is happening all over the world. England, Scotland, France, Finland , NZ, Au Meanwhile the catholic church, by ranting against marriage requality, is destroying itself and the good it could do for some re charity. Which unfortunately is lacking for gay people.

    Example – France was once solidly catholic. Now its less then 5% active catholic and marriage equality is guaranteed to pass by the end of the year.

    The problem with religion is its about faith in stories thousands of years old. The churches are afraid that once one piece of faith is changed, the whole thing is called into question

    That is the defective death gene of religion. If it wants to continue its obstrucionist tactics against the social justice issue of our time, then it should put a sign over the vatican gate

    BAnkruptcy sale.

    • James K in reply to stanJames says:

      I think a large part of it is that the major religions of the world developed in an era much more static than today. Eternal dogmas help preserve cohesion and things didn’t change much so the religion’s dogmas didn’t need to be refreshed much.

      Plus, back in the day the big religions could set people on fire who argued with them. That can make you complacent.Report