Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Just noticed that Kiwi Pundit, who has also been away for a few days, is supporting the Civil Union Bill, saying it "cannot be opposed on any ground other than a noxious mixture of prejudice and paternalism".

In the same post he said, of the Relationships Statutory References bill, "Whether a relationship is 'serious enough' to be treated like marriage is a matter for the two people involved, not the government."

That, I guess, is an argument to restrict the provisions of the RSRB to those in a civil union, as partners to a civil union are seen as "serious enough". But how serious is "serious enough"? However the problem with that stance, from the government viewpoint, is that it would be discrimination against those not in a civil union or marriage, ie: discrimination based on marital status AND sexual orientation, the very two forms of discrimination this bill is attempting to address.

Which is why the original private member's CUB was split into both bills - one for all unmarried relationships, and the other for civil unions.

As the Pundit said, it is "perfectly logical to hold that the disadvantages of RSRB outweigh the advantages", but this statement is only true if you do not support the CUB. The three ACT members I mentioned in an earlier post, Gerard Eckhoff, Heather Roy and Richard Prebble, did support the CUB - but not the RSRB, which is why I questioned their logic.

If you support the CUB, the disadvantages of the RSRB would pale in comparison to the advantages of recognition and registration of civil unions.

Yet if the disadvantages are outweighed and the RSRB is not passed, it has implications for the civil union bill, and it was this bill that the RSRB was drafted in mind. The RSRB, as it currently reads, cannot be passed without the earlier passage of the CUB, and I know of several MPs, - some who voted for the RSRB - who want every reference to civil unions taken out of the RSRB.

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