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Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman, period

By John Tamihere

This week a number of Private Members Bills were drawn from the ballot to make their way to a Private Members day which happens on most Wednesdays when the House sits. In the normal course of events Private Members Bills, if they are not sponsored by the Government, are voted down in the first reading by the Government. This Government, outside the Maori party three votes, has a one vote majority. The one vote is provided by John Banks or Peter Dunn.

This week saw a Bill promoted by Louisa Wall from Manurewa legalising gay marriage. John Key and David Shearer are on the record in support of this legislation.

If I was still in Parliament I would vote it down. In 2000 the Labour Government, of which I was a member, passed the Property Relationship Act, which ensured all de facto relationships were covered by this Act regardless of the sex of the particular de facto partners. In 2004 I was a member of the same Government which supported Civil Unions which gave same sex couples the chance to celebrate officially and with Parliamentary endorsement, unions between themselves. I voted against this.

Marriage is a long term institution between a man and a woman, period. We have in all cultures and communities accepted this institution as an acknowledgement between a man, a woman and the community that they are part of all embracing the commitments made.

In Maori terms there is not one waiata, pepiha, marae or meeting house acknowledging homosexual relationships. We rejoice whakapapa which is all about procreation between a man and a woman. At no time is a marriage discriminatory or prejudicial against same sex couples because marriage must be defined as a union between a man and a woman. Same sex couples receive nothing other than taking a term called marriage from those that evolved and developed the institution to be solely defined between man and woman.

I accept that Louisa Wall is a fine, hard working member of Parliament for the people of Manurewa. I accept that she may have a role in advancing this legislation because she is openly gay. When will the gay community acknowledge that the battle is won and that there are no discriminatory or prejudicial practises being applied against them because of their sexual preference? It seems to me that activists and fundamental people, whether they be Christian, Muslim or homosexual should be defined and corralled into their particular area. They should not be allowed to have an influence in excess of their numbers in a democracy. Just because you yell louder and point the finger at others more does not justify the case that you are being discriminated against because of your race, colour, religion or sex.

At the end of the day you have to place evidence on the table that marriage or the denial of the right to it is discriminating against you. Louisa Wall and her mates have yet to place persuasive evidence of that on the table.

Sunday News, 29th July 2012

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