The Dim-Post

August 28, 2012

Fight spam with spam

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:42 am

Also via the Herald, MPs are coming under pressure not to support Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill, which has it’s first reading this week. Because no one really makes money out of gay people marrying, or not marrying, this is one of those rare opportunities when your local MP will actually care what you think, and if they only receive messages from people opposed to marriage equality it could swing some votes.

So here’s a list of where New Zealand MPs currently sit on the issue, and here’s a list of their contact details. I’d recommend contacting your electorate MP (although mine is Grant Robertson, who is probably not soft on this issue but is probably sick of hearing from me), and/or a list MP who stands in your electorate, and/or a list MP for whichever party you vote for who is currently undecided.

Have at it.

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55 Comments »

  1. I wrote to Katrina Shanks a few weeks ago, as part of a group at Vic Uni. It can be fun to do stuff like this with a bunch of other people, plus it really boosts the amount of spam you can produce.
    One other thing though, hand write the letters. It will really make them take notice.

    Comment by alex — August 28, 2012 @ 9:23 am

  2. i would contact Tolley but whats the phukking point? shes too busy saving rail anyway

    Comment by CnrJoe — August 28, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  3. One other thing though, hand write the letters. It will really make them take notice.

    Must be legible. Also, not in crayon.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — August 28, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  4. “hand write the letters. It will really make them take notice.”

    I’ve actually talked to a few MPs about this, and I’m afraid hand-written letters are correlated with crankiness in their minds.

    Comment by Stephen J — August 28, 2012 @ 10:13 am

  5. Better to send hand-written crayon letters opposing the bill, with a PS (“Neil Armstrong was a FAKE – it says so in Revelations!11!”).

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 28, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  6. “I’ve actually talked to a few MPs about this, and I’m afraid hand-written letters are correlated with crankiness in their minds.”

    Thank god for that. My handwriting is terrible which is why I just harvest the words I need from old magazines.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 28, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  7. Perfectly acceptable so long as you get the grammar right, PB.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 28, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  8. Better still, sign the petition.

    Comment by Dan — August 28, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  9. I’m in the same boat in that I’m fairly sure Grant won’t be voting against marriage equality, nor will any of the Greens, and National put up some kid as a candidate in Welly Central last time who didn’t make it in on the list.
    I’d email Trevor Mallard, but I think he regards the literate classes of Wellington city as beyond engagement.

    Comment by Rich d'Rich (@rich_d_rich) — August 28, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  10. and/or a list MP for whichever party you vote for who is currently undecided.
    Typical Greens. Always supporting party policy. You’d think one would take a maverick position, but no, always erring on the side of principle.

    Comment by mikaerecurtis — August 28, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  11. “Because no one really makes money out of gay people marrying, or not marrying”

    You know somebody once told me we should support gay marriage because lavishly flamboyant gay marriages would be a boon to the economy.

    Comment by Hugh — August 28, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  12. We live in such a small country that gay marriage is not going to be a “boon to the economy” until we have four or five times our current population, so well over 100 years from now.

    Comment by Dan — August 28, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  13. I imagine marriage celebrants might make a small amount of extra cash out of gay couples who have already had a civil union and then decide to pay for another full wedding…. but yes, marriage celebrants probably aren’t that powerful or active a lobby group.

    my potential MPs are Nikki Kaye, Jacinda Ardern or Denise Roche, so it seems a bit pointless really…. A thought however, – just because there is no obvious economic interest in preventing/encouraging gay marriage, doesn’t mean that there aren’t powerful donors to some political parties who might be resolutely opposed to gay marriage…

    Comment by LucyJH — August 28, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  14. Furthermore, the reason handwriting is associated with cranks in most MPs’ minds is that almost everybody who handwrites letters to MPs seem to either a) be very, very old or b) live in some deeply, deeply rural area of NZ and both groups have, let us say, “conservative” views about many social issues. They also sometimes do write in lots of different colours. In general, it is a sad fact that perhaps 60%? 70%? of the correspondence received by opposition MPs (I can’t speak for backbenchers or Ministers) tends to be from complete nutcases. It makes you wonder, really, whether a very high proportion of NZers are secretly crazy or whether it is only crazy people who take any interest in politics?

    Comment by LucyJH — August 28, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  15. My local MP is John Banks, and I have been spamming him since the bill was drawn. And lo! Look at the news today!

    Comment by Rageaholic (@Rageaholic_) — August 28, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  16. LucyJH: this classic post from my old cobber Simon Garlick lays it out

    http://simongarlick.net/deep-in-the-heart-of-adelaide-with-tony-zappia

    Comment by Stephen J — August 28, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  17. “We live in such a small country that gay marriage is not going to be a “boon to the economy” until we have four or five times our current population”

    I agree with you that gay marriage is not going to do anything for the economy -but- I feel the need to tell you that you seriously fail economics of scale with that statement.

    Comment by Hugh — August 28, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  18. Interesting that no-one in the gay marriage liberal lobby has yet given a good reason for gay marriage – just focusing on ramming thru’ the Bill.

    Because letting 2 consenting adults marry (2 men, 2 women or 1 man and 1 woman) implies that 3 or 4 or n many adults could consent to marry. Why are Louisa Wall and Kevin Hague discriminating against polygamous groups? And why do they have to be adults? Why can’t a 15 yr old marry their 16 year old partner? Or a 13 yr old marry a 28 yr old? Age discrimination again…

    And when we will we be able to marry our pets? After all, if I can kill Flossy the lamb for meat without worrying about her consent, why should I worry about her consent to marry me?

    But let’s not worry about logical consistency; let’s just pretend we’re freeing Martin Luther King from picking cotton, or busting Nelson Mandela outta Robbin Island jail, eh? Don’t worry about the facts ma’am, they only clutter the glorious liberal vista of wiping out discrimination for gay couples, while not wiping out discrimination against incestous couples, or polygamous triples, or paedo couples.

    Oh, and Danyl, you do realise that ‘pressure’ on Louisa Wall is coming from her constitutents, right? Quick, you better rally letter writers to counter Manurewa people (or any constituents) telling their MP what laws they do and don’t want passed.

    The frightening aspect of this gay marriage Bill is how rapidly liberal ‘freedom lovers’ and MPs are willing to throw any pretense to democratic principles out the window. MPs are not elected to vote on their conscience – they are elected to vote on what their electorate or party (for list MPs) want. If their conscience troubles them on any vote, they are free to resign. Anything else is just 122 dictators imposing their personal views on 4.5m people.

    Clearly John Banks put his party policy ahead of his personal beliefs – fine, that is his choice. What would be wrong is if he went against his party or Epsom voters’ views. That breaks democracy. But Louisa and Kevin seem happy for democracy to be broken if they get what they personally want. Lovely.

    Comment by bob — August 28, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  19. …Bob, that was satire right? Please? Because it was the same level of brain hurt as reading a creationism rant and I don’t want to devote energy writing endless paragraphs pointing out all the fallacies and just plain idiotic bits in that post if you were trying to be funny.

    Comment by Flynn — August 28, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

  20. @bob: “The frightening aspect of this gay marriage Bill is how rapidly liberal ‘freedom lovers’ and MPs are willing to throw any pretense to democratic principles out the window.”

    Does the fact that opinion polls consistently show that the public supports allowing gay marriage by about a 2-1 majority change your mind on this point? In fact, given the apparent depth of public support for the move, wouldn’t it be “throw[ing] any pretense to democratic principles out the window” NOT to legislate for gay marriage?

    Also, by the broader logic of your argument, given that an 80-year old man and an 82-year-old woman are permitted to marry, why shouldn’t a woman be allowed to marry 2 men … or a man to marry a goat? So we’re already on the slippery slope … aren’t we?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 29, 2012 @ 3:15 am

  21. > opinion polls consistently show that the public supports allowing gay marriage by about a 2-1 majority

    About the same numbers which oppose asset sales, which the government is legislating for. What the public want and what they get are not necessarily the same. If there was public support for the return of the page 3 girl in Sunday newspapers, you’d be all for that?

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 5:51 am

  22. New Zealanders support gay marriage by 2-1, but a small paragraph commenting on the passing of an unremarkable and uncontroversial new law expressing this particular public will sells no tabloids so The Herald is doing its bit to desperately try and whip up a controversy where none exists. Today we get an (even for the Herald, home of Looney libertarians Damien Grant and Jim Hopkins) unusually dishonest column from someone called Bruce Logan, who the herald shills to its readers as an “ex=school teacher”. It is a pity the Herald fails to note Mr Logan is in fact a septuagenarian founder of the hard right Maxim institute, has opposed every social law reform ever enacted in his adult life, and he works hand in glove with Family First. They also fail to note that his last stint with the Herald in 2005 saw him discredited as a plagiarist by Paul Litterick, the result of which his previous sole refuge to air his ideas in public has been the website of the far-right ex-ACT MP conspiracy theorist wingnut Muriel Newman.

    “Retired ex-school teacher” indeed.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 29, 2012 @ 7:58 am

  23. this whole slippery slope argument also hurts my head. I mean, for example, every day the government passes or upholds laws that let people, specifically, do things like sell alcohol or pay taxes in a certain way. yet I don’t see anybody arguing that if the government, just for example, changes the RMA to give developers more freedom, soon we will see dogs or cats or kakapos trying to build supermarkets in previously protected areas.

    similarly when it comes to drug testing benificiaries. nobody is worried the govt will start drug testing children to deny their parents benefits…

    so why shd we be worried legalizing gay marriage will see people marrying children or animals?

    the obvious aanswer, of course, is that people who use these arguments are bigots who see homosexuals as being a) perverted, which is where the fear of child marriage etc comes from and b) subhuman, which is where the crap about animals comes from.

    Comment by lucyjh — August 29, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  24. So we’re already on the slippery slope … aren’t we?
    I can feel myself slipping into the Sarlacc maws of a man-boy-parrot-toaster oven orgy ceremony…

    Comment by garethw — August 29, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  25. > so why shd we be worried legalizing gay marriage will see people marrying children or animals?

    Hmmm you’re missing the point. The argument isn’t whether people will marry kids or animals, it is that they should be able to if they so choose. I doubt there’d be a rush of people wanting to marry their pet if such a union was legal. But should they be denied the opportunity? Should brothers and sisters be denied the opportunity of marrying each other?

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 9:18 am

  26. > bigots who see homosexuals as being a) perverted and b) subhuman.

    I don’t agree. Traditionally only a man and woman have been able to marry. But two women or two men will be able to marry if the law changes. This begs the question: why extend the law to encompass only gays and lesbians? Why not, for example, adult brothers and sisters?

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  27. why extend the law to encompass only gays and lesbians? Why not, for example, adult brothers and sisters?
    Because society has, for now, seen fit to impose a handful of constraints on marriage. And they now recognise that using sexual preference as one of the reasons for constraint is unecessary discrimination.

    Comment by garethw — August 29, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  28. @Ross: if the adult incest community gets together to lobby for legalisation of their relationships, we can consider that on its merits or lack thereof. But ‘I oppose A because B is bad’ is no argument at all.

    Comment by helenalex — August 29, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  29. Thanks for your comment, helenalex. So it is really about whether there is a lobby group involved, not a question of consistency or doing the right thing?

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  30. Why not, for example, adult brothers and sisters?

    Because, unlike same-sex relationships, incest is a crime? Changing the give way rules didn’t make it suddenly OK to run a red light, ffs.

    Comment by Tui — August 29, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  31. So it is really about whether there is a lobby group involved, not a question of consistency or doing the right thing?
    No.
    It’s a question of doing the right thing as society currently recognises “the right thing”. They still believe their are reasons to constrain brothers/sisters from marrying, but not based on people’s sexuality. In time that may change, but for now that’s what they believe is “the right thing”.

    Comment by garethw — August 29, 2012 @ 10:01 am

  32. @Ross: “So it is really about whether there is a lobby group involved, not a question of consistency or doing the right thing?”

    It’s about the fact that there is a “lobby group” which is calling upon Parliament to do the right thing. So there is both political opportunity (provided by “lobbying”) and moral principle involved.

    Also, saying “if we change the law to allow men to marry men, then logically we’d also have to let men marry dogs” makes as much sense as saying in 1893 that “if we change the law to allow women to vote, then logically we’d also have to let dogs vote”. To which the rather obvious response is that women are not the same as dogs, just as a relationship of reciprocal love and commitment between two men is not the same as that between a man and a dog. And I guess if you claim not to be able to see that difference, then there’s no amount of arguing going to convince you.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 29, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  33. If Ross and Bob’s auto-lines are indicative of the opposition to this bill, I feel sorry for the MPs having to stay awake during the select committee. They should bring their i-pods.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 29, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  34. Andrew Geddis: that’s a remarkably apt simile which I’m going to remember and pass off as my own at the next opportunity.

    Comment by Stephen J — August 29, 2012 @ 11:59 am

  35. saying in 1893 that “if we change the law to allow women to vote, then logically we’d also have to let dogs vote”.
    Because the Supreme Court didn’t also demand inter-species same-sex familial marriages in 1967 they shouldn’t have ruled in favour of interracial marriage – I mean, why bother?

    Comment by garethw — August 29, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  36. Andy G, presumably the law preventing brothers and sister marrying is silent on brothers and brothers marrying? Or was this possibility covered under the law allowing civi unions? Did our legislators use foresight and siblings is the word used in incest laws? It’s okay: I don’t have any brothers that I am aware of.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 29, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  37. > Because, unlike same-sex relationships, incest is a crime?

    Hmmm I didn’t mention incest, I talked about marriage. And you didn’t address the question.

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  38. > It’s a question of doing the right thing as society currently recognises “the right thing”.

    Except there is no such thing as society. I presume you’re instead referring to the judgment of MPs. So if MPs vote to allow the sale of state assets, by definition that must be the right thing.

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  39. Ross,

    Why do YOU think it is legitimate/defensible to allow a man and a woman to marry, yet not to allow a brother and a sister to marry? And why does the same reasoning process not also permit the marriage of a man to a man without having to permit the marriage of a man to his brother? Because it isn’t clear why defenders of gay marriage are expected to explain why marriage shouldn’t also cover inter-family relationships, yet defenders of “traditional” marriage aren’t.

    In other words, perhaps the question isn’t being addressed because it simply isn’t relevant to the issue under discussion.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 29, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  40. You’re feeding the god botherers Andy

    Comment by Tim — August 29, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  41. “Why do YOU think it is legitimate/defensible to allow a man and a woman to marry, yet not to allow a brother and a sister to marry?”

    I am not talking exclusively about a brother and sister. As you’re well aware, plenty of consenting adults are not permitted to marry. Do you think that is legitimate? Personally I think all consenting adults should be entitled to marry and make the same mistakes the rest of us make.

    Tim, I’m not a god botherer. In fact, I totally support gay marriage – as you might have discerned from my above comments.

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  42. “it isn’t clear why defenders of gay marriage are expected to explain why marriage shouldn’t also cover inter-family relationships”

    They’re not expected to. But I’d expect for the sake of consistency that those advocating for gay marriage would be happy to see other consenting adults tie the knot (if that was an option). After all, what other consenting adults get up to surely has no effect on gay marriage, in the same way that gay marriage will have no effect on traditional marriage.

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  43. Sure. Keep thumping that tub brother. Hallelujah.

    Comment by Tim — August 29, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

  44. Cheers Andrew for those links. I always thought you couldn’t marry your cousin in NZ, but I can’t see that prohibited. Has it been de-prohibited previously, or has prohibition been a myth? (I do have a couple of cousins I wouldn’t mind marrying, although my wife might have something to say about it).

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 29, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

  45. People tend to be against consensual adult incest (and pologamy) because they suspect that at least one of the parties may not be making a completely free decision. Currently, there is no call to legalise consensual incest, let alone incestual marriage. Possibly in the future people in consensual incest relationships will convince us all that we’ve been wrong. But we’ll consider that issue on its own merits – whether or not gay people can get married won’t have much of a bearing on it. Legalising gay sex didn’t lead to the legalisation of pedophilia or adult incest or bestiality or make any of them any more acceptable – why would gay marriage do it?

    Comment by helenalex — August 29, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  46. “Legalising gay sex didn’t lead to the legalisation of pedophilia or adult incest or bestiality or make any of them any more acceptable – why would gay marriage do it?”

    That’s a straw man argument and doesn’t address the issue of whether consenting adults should be allowed to marry and if not, why not.

    Comment by Ross — August 30, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  47. “People tend to be against consensual adult incest (and pologamy) because they suspect that at least one of the parties may not be making a completely free decision.”

    That’s a contradiction. Consent doesn’t exist if one person is being pressured into doing something they don’t want to. I’ll note that a lot of people are against gay marriage…but the point has been made that gay marriage will not and should not affect traditional marriage. Similarly inter-family marriage won’t affect gay marriage, so I have little doubt that gay and lesbians would support inter-family marriage.

    According to this recent article, incest cases are becoming more prevalent. Some cultures allow inter-family marriage.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/incest-cases-becoming-more-prevalent-in-nz-5052520

    Comment by Ross — August 30, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  48. In the US, it seems to be easier to marry your first cousin than it is to marry your gay partner.

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lm13v8615z1qfhdruo1_500.jpg#1st%20cousin%20/%20gay%20marriage%20map

    Comment by Ross — August 30, 2012 @ 10:52 am

  49. Except there is no such thing as society. I presume you’re instead referring to the judgment of MPs. So if MPs vote to allow the sale of state assets, by definition that must be the right thing.
    You presume wrong and then create a rather odd strawman.
    I refer to society as the individuals of the voting public expressing their democratic desire for legislation through their elected representatives. There can be breakdowns and roadblocks in that process but that is not evident here – polls of the public suggest a level of support very similar to that which the bill received via their representatives in Parliament last night.

    Your argument is that removing any single constraint on consensual adult marriage isn’t logically consistent without removing them all. That’s simply not true – you can believe one current constraint is necessary and correct without believing they all are.

    As a general rule personally I’m with you that genuinely consenting and informed adults should be able to enter into “marriage”-type relationships as they see fit. But I also accept that the test for “geniunely consenting and informed” may be too hard to remove all the constraints that attempt to counterbalance that. Age is a simple test, as is interspecies, family relationship is much greyer as is multiple partners etc etc. Of course none of that has to do with gay marriage which has no unique power imbalances etc…

    Comment by garethw — August 30, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  50. .> Age is a simple test

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Only adults can marry. We’re talking about consenting adults being allowed to marry.

    Comment by Ross — August 30, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  51. In the US, it seems to be easier to marry your first cousin than it is to marry your gay partner.

    This is also currently the case in New Zealand.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — August 30, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  52. @Ross: Fair call. I should have said ‘apparently consensual incest’ or ‘supposedly consensual incest’. As you rightly point out, consent given under duress or pressure is not consent at all.

    Your basic argument seems to be that there is no logical reason to support gay marriage and not also brother-sister marriage. Perhaps you’re right. But this does not seem to be a good reason not to support the gay marriage bill currently before parliament. The only reasons that I can think of why it would are:

    a) legalising gay marriage would inevitably lead to legislation of incestual marriage, and incestual marriage is wrong. or,

    b) I am so opposed to being inconsistent on any issue that I will oppose the granting of rights to people who want them, because doing so would mean also supporting the hypothetical extension of those rights to another group of people who may or may not want those rights and would anyway have to get their actual relationships legalised first, and I don’t want to do that.

    Incidentally, do you believe that supporting the decriminalisation of homosexual sex logically compels people to support consensual adult incest?

    Comment by helenalex — September 3, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  53. Helenalex

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re suggesting or asking. I’ve said previously that I support gay marriage. I also support adults making their own decisions regarding who they form intimate relationships with, as long as all involved are consenting adults.

    Comment by Ross — September 3, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  54. Ah, so you’re not actually advancing an argument, just picking holes in other peoples’. Fair enough.

    Comment by helenalex — September 3, 2012 @ 3:03 pm


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