Friday, February 15, 2013

The losing side

The radical right religious folks hellbent, as it were, on stopping marriage equality are losing—and they know it. The tide has inarguably turned against them.

Last November, of course, voters in four out of four US states rejected the anti-gay religious extremists, and in three of those states they approved marriage equality (the fourth refused to amend their state constitution to forever ban it). Since then, marriage equality bills have been moving through state legislatures, including just today, when the Illinois Senate passed a marriage equality bill (the bill is expected to pass the Illinois House soon and it will be signed into law by the Illinois Governor).

Here in New Zealand, the marriage equality bill passed its first reading in Parliament, and the select committee report will be presented to Parliament the end of this month. No one seriously doubts the bill will become law, and the first same-gender couples will marry next year.

Yesterday morning, Bob “Slippery Slope!” McCoskrie seemed to admit defeat with the Tweet above. The link was to his own website for Protect [sic] Marriage NZ, where he commented on the GayNZ story. He specifically quoted this part, and the emphasis (italics and boldface) is entirely his:
This afternoon, in a brief speech from the main stage of the Get It On Big Gay Out, Key upped the ante, confirming his intention to vote for the bill in its next two readings, and expressing his belief that many other MPs will follow his lead.

"As PM I think if I vote for it a whole lot of MPs will vote for it too," he said, to a warm reception from the crowd.”
That’s a pretty clear indication that Key expects his MPs to vote for the bill. What Bob didn’t quote was the paragraph above it, which suggested that Key told his MPs to vote on the First Reading as they anticipated voting on the final vote on the bill. That means, first, we now know why the vote tally on the First Reading was so unexpectedly high, and second, final passage is assured.

Bob knows all this, so he is trying every diversionary tactic he can think of. In his comment, he wrote: “By the way, have you checked out the website of the official sponsors www.getiton.org.nz ?? NOT recommended.”

It’s so cute what Bob did there: GayNZ often adds a “Not Recommended” to links to anti-gay rightwing sites or propaganda (including Bob’s). But Bob’s “BTW” is irrelevant.

Get It On is a project promoting safe sex for gay men, especially to reduce risk of exposure to HIV and other STIs. Its site is explicit, as such a site would be expected to be—but that has nothing to do with the Big Gay Out, which is “family-friendly”!

Bob put the name in italics and added “not recommended” in keeping with the rightwing’s general anti-sex focus as well as trying to insinuate that everything about gay people is about sex (a topic in itself). Still, Big Gay Out is not about sex nor is it explicit. Bob was being dishonest (again) with his whole “by the way” addendum. That’s typical for him, of course.

As we draw closer to the final enactment of marriage equality in New Zealand, I fully expect to see Bob try even more hysterical (in both senses of the word) scaremongering. He’ll fail in his goal, but more, he’ll portray himself and his groups as political and religious extremists, and as bigots. And that, more than anything else, is why they’re the losing side.

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