Labour MP Su’a William Sio has come out against Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill, with the usual “why aren’t we focusing on more important issues” (sorry Sio, didn’t realise you can’t read a book and chew gum at the same time) and “this will cost Labour!!!!” lines.
For a start, Idiot/Savant has actual research showing that Maaori/Pasifika folk may be more likely than us whiteys to support marriage equality. Oops.
But in the main, the thing that pisses me off is his trotting out the usual crap about “fundamental beliefs”.
Because when anyone arguing from a fundy religious position starts citing their beliefs as an argument against offering other people – people who do not share those beliefs – access to healthcare, access to protection under the law, recognition of their basic human rights – all that says is “My personal religious beliefs should be imposed on everyone.”
All it says is that fundy religious people think they deserve special rights.
“Hang on!” they inevitably cry. ”Aren’t YOU imposing YOUR beliefs on ME by doing something which affects other people who don’t share my beliefs?”
The answer is: No, fuckwits.
Take the case in point. If we legally recognise same-sex marriages the way we recognise hetero marriages, this does not affect Su’a William Sio in the slightest. It doesn’t downgrade his marriage to economy class, it doesn’t stop him from doing anything he already does, it doesn’t force him to do anything he doesn’t choose to do.
(There’s a side argument about whether or not marriage celebrants, as agents of the state, have the right to discriminate, but I’ll let Idiot/Savant take that one.)
How does this force anyone else’s morality on Su’a William Sio? Well, it means that he’s not allowed to walk the streets accosting gay couples shouting “YOUR RELATIONSHIP ISN’T AS LEGALLY-RECOGNISED AS MINE, HAHAHAHAHAHA.”
Actually, he probably would be allowed to do that, within obvious pre-existing legal limits around assault and illegal detention.
So … how does legalising marriage equality affect Su’a William Sio’s rights and morals? Oh, because there’s a vague sense of unease amongst religious fundies about the gays. Though no concrete evidence has yet been found, they just know that marriage equality is wrong and will lead to the downfall of nations. Any day now.
No one’s personal morality is challenged or threatened by marriage equality unless they’re so fucking attached to homophobic bigotry that it pains them to be told “Sorry, society’s moved on.” And I just cannot summon much sympathy for their plight.
Meanwhile, loving, caring, committed couples are denied equal rights under the law because a Court of Appeal judge said so back in the day. They can’t even adopt the children they’re raising as their own.
That’s forcing your morals on people, douchebags.
(And like I said in comments at The Standard: No one is standing in Su’a William Sio’s way if he wants to go out there and “focus” on the “things that really matter” to religious South Aucklanders. Off you go, mate. Unless it’s just easier to build up bigot-cred hating on the hard work of your colleagues.)