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Lesbian Labour MP hands National a post-2014 support partner

Well, Louisa Wall just gave National’s 2014 election prospects a big leg up.

The lesbian Labour MP’s bill allowing gay marriage was pulled out of the members’ bill ballot this week and it puts the issue squarely onto the political agenda.

It is the best news the country’s leading Christian-based party, the Conservatives, could have had.

The party got 2.65% at the last election despite a nationwide publicity campaign costing its founder and funder, Auckland businessman Colin Craig, nearly $2 million.

But that is a larger percentage than the Act Party (1.08%), United Future (0.6%) and the Maori Party (1.43%) – National’s other support partners. There are few prospects of any of those parties getting a larger vote next time. 

ABOVE: John Key says he doesn't oppose gay marriage. On Twitter, Conservative leader Colin Craig takes a different tack.

New Zealanders are increasingly liberal on the issue of gay marriage – the National Party conference, which, pretty much by definition, is one of the country’s more conservative bodies, voted last weekend in favour of gay adoption.

And various polls show a fair majority of New Zealanders polled are in favour of allowing gay marriage.

Most New Zealanders, in fact, regard matters of religious faith as being something best confined to the private sphere, like folk dancing or masturbation.

New Zealand’s culture is a long way from that of the US, where overt and often rather self-dramatising religiosity is part and parcel of the culture; where Christian voters carry a great deal of clout, and, indeed, have formed what might be called the Levitican or the Pharisaical wing of the Republican Party.

But a small but significant chunk of New Zealand voters march to a different drum.

One poll, in the run up to the 2008 election, showed that about 15% of New Zealanders polled would consider voting for a Christian-based party.

That has not happened. The closest was in 1996, the first MMP election, when the Christian Coalition got a bit more than 4% of the vote, frustratingly close to the 5% threshold – and then fell apart shortly afterwards amid rancour and division, and, after an interval scandal.

It has always been on the cards that a Christian-based party could perform, for the liberal-conservative side of New Zealand politics, a similar service to that performed by the Greens on the socialist-Marxist side of the spectrum.

That is, pull in voters who are animated by causes other than those which have traditionally divided the Left and Right – although the Greens have, in recent years, shed some of this aspect and are now more a traditional radical leftist party, with instincts and attitudes derived from a combination of Marx and Malthus.

It is not too difficult to see a Christian-based party pulling in some churchgoing Labour voters, especially from the Pasifika community.

Mr Craig is already campaigning hard on the issue. It is a gift from Heaven for his party, and his party’s approach to politics is much more aligned with that of National than of Labour.

National’s greatest weakness, going into the 2014 election, was always going to be weakening coalition partners.

The battle over gay marriage is going to strengthen National’s best bet for a post-2014 administration.

Labour may yet rue the day this bill was outed in the ballot.

More by Rob Hosking

Comments and questions

Two billion??? Think you mean two million

God save us from religious nutters whether red, green, blue or olive.

We need a strong constitution to defend individual freedoms and minorities from oppression by a democratic majority.

Unfortunately, we have instead a Constitutional Review Committee heavily stacked with people who want minorities to control and bleed the majority, who have no respect whatever for individual freedoms and hold a collectivist's charter supreme. Consequently the best possible outcome is only that their recommendations will be ignored.

What on earth is the joy in splitting the Labour vote if it merely puts the most prejudiced and poorly-educated section of it into Government?

C'mon Alan. The plain truth is you prefer to defend the rights of the gay minority rather than the christian minority. What about the rights of a child who has no say in whether they are adopted by a gay couple or a tradtional family? Or dare I mention the rights of a child who has no say if they want to be aborted? You are clearly selective about whose rights you champion.

Nope, I believe individuals should be free to do things others don't like unless and up to the point where they cause significant harm to others.

As for the "rights" of unborn or adopted infants I would generally leave these in the hands of their parents or, where these are seriously incapacitated, appropriate substitutes.

That's worked pretty well for a few million years.

Alan, I support the right of an individual to do as they wish in their bedroom, even their home. But on the street is different... most nations have (or had) standards of public decency - though parital of full nudity seems OK now - And then to have it enshrined in law?

And do you support the right of parents to kill unwanted or unlovely (imperfect) children yet unborn, but not the right (and duty) of parents to raised civilised children, even if it includes the need for an occasional smack?

Why do you think civilisations rise and fall? If you look at history, they fall when they turn to unbridled hedonism and fail to consider others more important than themselves.

Until a foetus is viable I support the mother's right to choose an abortion. I oppose and opposed Bradford's smacking bill. She deliberately lied about its consequences and I have no respect for her at all.

Civilisations rise and fall for various reasons including climate changes, resource depletion, successful external enemies and internal failures.

In general, others are not more important than ourselves, eg the evolutionary success of the "selfish gene".

Exactly what rights will the Christian minority lose if same-sex marriage becomes legal?

"What about the rights of a child who has no say in whether they are adopted by a gay couple or a tradtional family? "

In what sense does that right exist at the moment, given that only straight families can adopt? Increasing the pool of potential adopter families will just increase the chances of being adopted by a good one (gay or straight).

There are a lot of people uncomfortable with the idea of two same gender people raising children through adoption. It is unnatural.
How are two males going to guide a young girl through puberty and teenage realtionship emotions, such that she will become a stable young women without any hang-ups. Or for that matter two women guide a young boy into responsible manhood?

...or for that matter "two women guide a young girl through puberty and teenage realtionship emotions, such that she will become a stable young women without any hang-ups". But all that's hardly the point. Is it natural?

Romans 1:26-27 says "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing ]indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."

Do you see that today? It was true 6000 years ago, 2000 years ago, and it will be true till Christ returns.

So you are telling us it has been happening for 6000 years but you still think it is unnatural?

Like you said. People have been murdering other people for just as long... by your rationale that's natural too (and should be accorded the protection of the law?)

You just shifted the goal posts. So it is natural but criminal. But there is no victim unless you can manufacture one from the children. Unfortunately for your case, evidence on that seems extremely sparse.

Why don't you ask those who have done it successfully? It's been done for a long, long time in circumstances other than gay marriage.

Alan, I have seen both sides, and I know which is the more succesfull; the natural mother and father combination. I have also seen solo mothers raise sons, or father raise daughters, but these were the natural parent, the other not being around/interested.
This is not an area for ideological blindness, but one concerning the wellbeing of a child; time to remove the ideological red glasses Alan.

In a gay couple one may be the natural parent of the child so no difference with single parents except there is extra assistance.

Of course there is a huge variation in the "sucessfulness" of all families. You cannot draw conclusions from a handful of observations.

"Freedom means freedom for everyone" - Dick Cheney

Let's explore that for a moment. Can a property owner be free to farm his land, or develop it, and the neighbours be free to object? If the property owner's right is upheld (or denied), will both be happy?

Often a compromise is reached. But then both parties have yielded some of there demands or freedoms for the common good.

Jesus said to the Jews of His day: (John 8: 31-34)
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

New Zealand (along with most Western Nations) was founded on that truth. Yet it has been sidelined, and continues to be. And our freedoms have been (and are being) eroded. I could name many, but don't want to miss some, or be seen to raise one freedom over another. Suffice to say we will never be truly free when we have successive governments that act as a god to the population, and a population who looks to the government to provide all it's needs. More government, even good government, won't save us.

The homosexual lobby needs to yield what it considers it's right to marriage and adoption for the common good. Marriage was defined by God, and we have no right (or ability) to re-define it.

If you want to be free, look not to government, or to the law, but look to Christ.

First point.
There are no 'neighbour rights' that conflict with the right for couples to be legally wed, because neighbours (or anyone else) have absolutely nothing to do with the marriage choices of consenting adults. When it comes to personal choices (unlike building near their fence-line etc), neighbours have the right to complain but not to interfere. Everyone's got the right to whinge, and the right to whinge shall not be infringed.

Second point.
What is being changed is a legal institution: legal marriage. When I applied to my marriage licence it was to the state, not to god. Religion didn't enter into it because a religious service is not necessary to be married and we chose not to have one. You are free of course to say that I am not truly married for some reason, or that gay couples who follow the same path (or have religious services in churches willing to carry them out) would not really be married. However in the end it's all just semantics and we are all free to ignore you: the legal institution of marriage is just a legal institution and all that's being proposed is the expansion of the legal institution. Individual religions will have to decide whether they follow that or not with respect to recognising and/or celebrating those marriages - that's up to them.

Go with your own beliefs; you have my respect but I'll make my own mind up thank you very much. *That* is what freedom and democracy are all about, and that's what free societies are really based on.

Didn't the previous Labour/Greens government roll with the attitude that "if people are doing it, let's make it legal" ?

I hope the this country doesn't continue along that avenue, or if so, let's make every crime legal.

Also, are the majority of the voting public, generally quiet on most issues, to be ignored while the "radical" minority continue to dominate the media with their selfish ambitions ?

Any law change MUST be consistent and logical, appeasing all sides of the political spectrum, in order for true democracy (or is it anarchy ?) to exist.

The institution of 'Marriage' between a Man and a Woman that many of us have only known is for them ONLY..

These persons who are of the same gender,and wish to make their union legal, already have the Civil Union Act.

I read in the NZ Herald that Ms Wall said, "re-emphasised yesterday that her legislation would change the state's definition of marriage, not the church's definition, and religious institutions would be free to opt out of marrying same-sex couples."

Who the hell gives this non-human STATE the right to redefine the definition of marriage, between a human man and a human woman? Does the STATE take vows - No, they act like buffoons in their Church of ill-repute, laden with disputes...called parliament.

I don't give a toss what Ms Wall does within the confines of her bedroom, thats her business...but when it comes to marriage between same-sex couples in the Sacred House of our Heavenly Father the Almighty and public displays of their unnatural behaviour in public in front of our most vulnerable...She can go and get stuffed, and so can her LABOUR PARTY

Marriage between a man and a woman is sacrosanct and thats it!

If you say so Siena. Until someone else says something else, of course.

The origins of marriage vastly pre-date the church and religion as we know it and took many forms.

The greater the certainty, the less the knowledge.

Alan I am struggling to disagree with anything you say BUT I have a nagging problem with gay marriage. And it isn't about gays - I also don't care what they do on the basis it harms no-one else and I will concede that they can raise children successfully (although I am very concerned about the impact of boys raised without proper male role models). My problem is the can of worms this opens. If one man/one woman is not the only form of marriage, why wouldn't one man/many woman OK? Three woman (like the Amazons of old)?
We've reached the stage where a family is whatever group of people want to think of themselves as a family in the same way non-100% Maori pretty much make up their identity rules as they go along.
Isn't marriage going to go the same way if gays can join the club?

CD, as someone who has been married for 45 years I struggle to see the latest concerns about keeping the club pure. We seem to have so many temporary members that the claim it represents a sacrosanct long term commitment seems dubious to say the least.

For me, it is just a symbol of a long-term commitment of love and support to one's partner and children. I am much more impressed by the way that commitment is observed and honoured than worried about who the participants are.

53 MPs for, 3 MPs against, 48 MPs undecided, 17 MPs have not responded. This being on Gay Marriage. So needing 61 votes to pass Parliament I would say the Bill would pass comfortably at the current rate.

The world goes on and my kids will be wondering in 30 years what on earth was the fuss all about.

Individual Freedom to make the Individual Choice that has Individual responsibility (and consequences). On that alone who am I to stop or judge two people regardless of sex getting married and enjoying their commitment and relationship (if anything married homosexual couples might teach heterosexual married couples how it is done (until Death do us part)).

There is only one Judge (to a Christian) who will judge a human(s) choices in life and that is certainly not another human...

As for Colin Craig - wrong person come idiot to lead the anti-gay marriage parade after his disaster on Twitter and the MSM
If anything come passing of the Bill, dear Colin would look like the Village Idiot...

Should be FREE to marry your cat

How many children have been killed or seriously injured by gay parents?
Who's right?, who's wrong? who cares? let people make their own choices so long as children are safe.

Its amazing how far Labour has drifted away from its old core constituents, working blue collar people who generally don't care for gays in the slightest.

Why does opposition to Gay Marriage (which does not exist yet) have to be characterised as Anti-Gay?

Surely opposition to this measure can be characterised for what it is i.e. an opposition to the redefinition of marriage. Lesbians and Gay males have all the rights in law of married couples under existing civil union legislation.

What next? The redefinition of marriage to legalise polygamy? If not why not?

This is just a another attack by the left on tradition and the substitution of God by the State.

I say this as a National voting Lesbian in a loving Civil Union partnership that is tolerant of heterosexual partneships (like my Mum and Dad's).

Grow up!

Hmm - nothing in this post or thread refers to or even hints at characterising the opposition as "anti-gay" - except for #26 which seems to be an attack on the left rather than by the left.

I'm all for giving the Left a hard time but let's shoot at the target, not the sky.

As for polygamy, you could probably make a good rational case for it but not get much overt support.