Some good quotes from the homosexual marraige bill third reading

Some of the speeches last night were just awesome. So I've gone and skimmed the draft transcript and selected the lines that I thought were some of the best of the entire evening.

Maurice Williamson

I have had a reverend in my local electorate call and say that the gay onslaught will start the day after this bill is passed. We are really struggling to know what the gay onslaught will look like. We do not know whether it will come down the Pakuranga Highway as a series of troops, or whether it will be a gas that flows in over the electorate and blocks us all in. I also had a Catholic priest tell me that I was supporting an unnatural act. I found that quite interesting coming from someone who has taken an oath of celibacy for his whole life.

I also had a letter telling me that I would burn in the fires of hell for eternity. That was a bad mistake, because I have got a degree in physics. I used the thermodynamic laws of physics. I put in my body weight and my humidity and so on. I assumed the furnace to be at 5,000 degrees. I will last for just on 2.1 seconds. It is hardly eternity. What do you think?

Let me repeat to them now that all we are doing with this bill is allowing two people who love each other to have that love recognised by way of marriage. That is all we are doing. We are not declaring nuclear war on a foreign State. We are not bringing a virus in that could wipe out our agricultural sector for ever. We are allowing two people who love each other to have that recognised, and I cannot see what is wrong with that for neither love nor money. I just cannot.

But I give a promise to those people who are opposed to this bill right now. I give you a watertight guaranteed promise. The sun will still rise tomorrow. Your teenage daughter will still argue back to you as if she knows everything. Your mortgage will not grow. You will not have skin diseases or rashes, or toads in your bed. The world will just carry on. So do not make this into a big deal. This bill is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on.

Jami-Lee Ross

I simply do not believe that it is right to determine an issue that affects only minorities by way of a referendum. If that was the case, I doubt New Zealand would have given women the right to vote when this country did, nor would this country have legalised abortion when it did, nor would this country have decriminalised sex between two consenting males when it did. Minority rights issues are not referendum issues.

 I want to briefly talk also about the question of children, because it is a common theme that some opponents have been raising. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that every child must have a mother and a father. I know that it is a touchy subject, but as someone who actually grew up without a mother and without a father, I think I am somewhat qualified to speak on the issue. A child does need both male and female influences in their life, but those influences do not necessarily have to come from their biological parents. What is most important is that a child is raised in a loving and caring environment. What is most important is that the people who are raising that child give them a home that is safe, warm, educating, and nurturing. If that environment just so happens to be a same-sex marriage, then that child is just as fortunate as every other loved and cared for child.

Grant Robinson

This bill is also about inclusion. Quite simply we will not succeed as a country or society if we continually find reasons to exclude people. The only place that takes us is division and hatred. Why on earth would we want to stop a couple who love each other and who want to make a commitment to one and other from doing that? Why would we want to exclude some people from a cherished social institution?

Nothing about this legislation will affect anyone else’s marriage. Husbands will still call their wives their wife and vice versa. I will let you all in on a secret, we have all been calling our partners husbands for years. Normally it is when I am being told off.

Tau Henare

I did have a speech prepared, but that speech shot it to bits. Here is the bona fides on the New Zealand First referendum of the 1990s. The National Party said no to a bill. That is why we went to a referendum, and when we went to a referendum, 82 percent of the country said: “No, Winston. We don’t believe in you any more.” That is what it said. It never went through caucus. It never went through caucus. And that speech that I heard tonight was the biggest shyster speech I have ever heard—the biggest shyster speech I have ever heard.

But I tell you what: that speech tonight is nothing more than pandering to the 10 percent on either side of this argument. It is nothing more than pandering to those racist, redneck people who just love to get on the email.

I want to say that I have been appalled with some of the behaviour of those for the bill and against the bill, because I for one do not think that those who are against the bill are homophobic just because they are voting against it. It is their right to vote against it, and I will back my colleagues who vote against it all the way. I just do not agree with them.

If it does belong to the Church, as I have been told by so many people on the email, then why do we have legislation outlining who can and who cannot? If there was no legislation, I would back the Church 100 percent. But it is not theirs. It actually belongs to the Government. It actually belongs to this Parliament. It is a creature now of Parliament. It is not a creature any more of either the Bible or the Church.

Nikki Kaye

I want to acknowledge Chris Auchinvole and Paul Hutchison. They have shown us in this debate the true power of conscience. When Paul said: “I … cannot construct a strong enough intellectual, moral, health, or … spiritual argument against it.”, he struck a chord with so many New Zealanders, because he showed us openness and he showed us compassion for people. Our Parliament can be very proud that this vote is actually less about political divides but more about religious and generational divides.

Kevin Hague

I remember travelling to Auckland’s North Shore to protest against one of our opponents, Pastor Richard Flynn, who called publicly for homosexuals like me to be put to death. Over the years I have campaigned hard for the right of our communities not to be outsiders anymore and to assume a full place in New Zealand society. With every new reform, the same group uses the same strategy, raising fears of terrible consequences that always fail to materialise. There would be few New Zealanders today who would support re-criminalising sex between men. The cost of being outsiders is enormous. The stigma associated with our “inferior” status is associated with substantially higher rates of suicide, depression, HIV risk, violence, and other risks to our health and well-being.

Their problem with this bill is that they believe that we gay and lesbian people are morally inferior. They do not want to include us as full participants in New Zealand society. They recognise correctly what full legal equality—this signal—means, and they do not like it. That is why we have seen people with placards declaring that gay people are mentally ill and less than human. That is why we have seen Family First’s campaign, firstly, of fear and misinformation and, latterly, of stand-over tactics and blackmail. That is why we have seen Catholic Action, just like Richard Flynn, writing to all MPs and telling us that homosexuals are worthy of death and then describing in great detail the eternal agony we should expect to experience in hell. They have tried to attract more people to their cause by scaring people with imaginary consequences—people will marry their pets, ministers will be thrown in prison, and people will not be able to call each other husband and wife anymore! Just like every time before, these fears will not be realised. The consequences of this bill will be that same-sex couples will marry. Transsexual people will no longer have to divorce. Prejudice and violence will be undermined.

John Banks

The privilege we have to be in this House is counterbalanced by the need to stand up and be counted. I am one of a handful of members who was here in the very early days of these debates. After three decades and 10 Parliaments, I have had time to reflect—to reflect on what I said and to reflect on what I did. If I knew then what I have since learnt, I would have acted differently. I see this as a debate more about human rights, predicated on the basis that we are all entitled to live our lives to the fullest extent of human happiness, while respecting the rights and beliefs of others. I believe all New Zealanders should be free to pursue their own happiness.

Te Ururoa Flavell

In 1888 the Supreme Court of New Zealand made a decision that has been described as “doubtful legally and deplorable socially”. That doubtful and deplorable decision was to reject the customary marriages that had existed mai rānō, and to assume that the marriage law of England took precedence. In fact, the colonial law from another land was considered of such importance that the children of Māori customary marriages were then described as “illegitimate”,

So when opponents of this bill criticise a change to the definition of marriage as contravening our sacred traditions, I would have to say “Whose traditions are we talking about?”

Jonathan Young

A tradition is a convention, a belief, or a behaviour that stands the test of time. A tradition is the institutional memory of a society. It is not to be cast off or cast away quickly or easily, because it is the touchstone of a value that perhaps younger minds may not fully understand, yet enter into, because it is there. Traditions are what we use to guide people, I believe, into the things of life that have been proven to work.

Kris Faafoi

I know there are strong religious veins in the Pacific community, and I respect that and the views that they have, but many young, gay Pacific Islanders have found this debate difficult. Many have grown up and maintain strong religious beliefs. They have told me one of the hardest things in the public debate has been hearing that the God that they worship seems to see them differently. My God does not. I hope that our community can embrace that there are many in our families who on a daily basis struggle to be openly who they are.

Paul Hutchinson

At one of my electorate meetings a highly intelligent, crusty, salt of the earth farmer urged me to vote against the bill, but he later joked that over the last few generations the sequence of events has gone like this: in the first instance parents such as himself used to tell their daughters not to come home with someone from a different religion, then not to come home with someone from a different race, then definitely not to come home single and pregnant, and, today, then not to come home with someone from the same sex, let alone marry them. He encapsulates the fact that society has evolved enormously within a few generations, just as marriage has been evolving as a civil and religious institution throughout human history.

As a former specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist, extremely poignant experiences for me were the rare occurrences where at the birth of a baby, when the parents instinctively asked: “Is it a boy or a girl?”, I had been literally unable to tell them. This has been because of ambiguous genitalia or a unique physical abnormality. It may take some weeks to fully assess a child, have genetic testing carried out, and assign a sex. Even that may be later changed. This illustrates the dramatic new knowledge available in the modern world to better understand the spectrum of physical, genetic, and social expression of gender and sexuality that was simply not possible in the past. I ask anyone, on either side of the debate, whether they would not hope that their newborn could be brought up in a society that is both tolerant and as caring about their child’s status and aspirations as any other child’s—a society that is inclusive, fair, and committed to respecting one another.

In the first reading of this bill I said that despite trying hard, I could not construct a strong enough intellectual, moral, health, or even spiritual reason to vote against it. I am now quite convinced that, at the end of the day, the strength of any human union is about love, tolerance, giving, forgiving, sharing, inclusiveness, commitment, and fairness irrespective of gender. These are universal qualities that have no boundaries.

Chris Auchinvole

We have faced many issues of conscience in our nation’s relatively short history, and I think we have grown stronger by facing them together, not always as adversaries but as fellow members of a small and empathetic nation that often gives fine examples to the rest of the world.

As an older person I would ask that the younger generation—epitomised, of course, in my colleague Nikki Kaye—show some patience and consideration for those of my generation who will need time to adjust to a change that will be very, very new to us. By the same token we cannot move forward as a nation if we older ones ignore or reject the heartfelt pleas for respect by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and the younger brigade. We need their acceptance as they are entitled to our acceptance.

Ruth Dyson

The Marriage Act has since 1955 said that celebrants can do that, presumably to protect celebrants from being forced to marry heterosexual couples of different religions or—heaven forbid—marry somebody who was divorced.

Moana Mackey

And although I respect the beliefs of those who oppose the bill on religious grounds, I strongly believe that although it is the role of the State to protect freedom of religious expression—and this bill reaffirms that—it is not the role of the State to uphold one group’s religious beliefs over another’s.

This debate is not about special rights for some; it is, in fact, the very opposite. It is about acknowledging that something that used to be seen as so scary, immoral, and different that my mother felt compelled to be an active member of a group called HUG—Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays—is, in fact, completely normal.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people will not be any better or worse at marriage than us straights. They will face the same challenges, the highs and lows, the successes, and the failures.

My late grandmother always had a wonderfully uncomplicated approach to life. At one point she became quite taken with Brendan, the partner of one of my best friends from high school, Peter. She told me that she would not be at all disappointed if Brendan were to become her grandson-in-law. I said to her “But, Grandma, he’s gay.”, to which she responded “Well, your grandfather wasn’t the easiest person to live with, but you make marriage work.”

The full video of the speeches can be found on the ParliamentTV YouTube channel.

And the full transcript of the reading.

Mythical Man Month

This is such an awesome book I thought it useful to educate more people on its existence.

The iconic book by Fred Brooks covers many of the lessons he learnt during his time as a project manager of the IBM System 360 project. The book is separated into sections that cover a topic at a time and have suggestions for avoiding the issues he ran into. 40 years later we are still running into the same problems on projects today. A must read for any tech lead and highly recommended for any developer who thinks they will end up on a project where they are either the sole dev or one of a couple, basically any dev ever.

Should we remember all of those that have fought for our freedoms?

Well today was ANZAC day in New Zealand and Australia and if you don't know it's our remembrance/veterans day.

One of the things that's always brought up as a reason for paying respects to the servicemen and women is for their actions in giving us our current freedoms. Now I've always had a small issue with this as this does not recognize everyone who has put effort in to gain and maintain the freedoms and rights we have and to improve our country. Things like universal suffrage, healthcare, the welfare state, representative democracy, police and government oversight, the freedom to disagree with those in power without fearing retribution. All of these things are just as important to improving our country as well as the military is in showing other powers in the world that we can and will put our money where our mouth is.

I'm not trying to trivialize the efforts of the men and women in uniform. I'm just trying to expand on the belief we pay our respects to those who have given their blood, sweat, tears, and lives to improve our lives.

So, do you think we should start to make efforts to recognize these other groups who have fought just as hard to improve the countries we live in at the same time we recognize and pay our respects to those who have fought with bullets and bombs?

You Can Die in the Tutorial

Well I've now finished the Military career mission arc. Pretty solid introduction to PvE'ing touching on resists, aiming, firing, moving, etc. It finishes up with a mission that you will be destroyed in unless you were paying attention. It's nice to know some of the true nature of EVE makes it into the tutorial stuff. Also got a new frigate gifted as part of one of the missions. I am now flying a Tristan. Depending on what happens in the near future I may ditch it and get myself a Catalyst.

Now I'm off to a Sisters of Eve agent for what I believe is the start of the beginner epic arc. Never done an Epic arc so this should be quite interesting.

EVE Has a Tutorial?

Well here I am in the tutorial every new player gets dropped into.

This is already a vast improvement over the tutorial I got when I started. You get dropped into what I understand is a deadspace complex with a few asteroids and a single rat which orbits around. This is good because it gets people right into the game without being shocked by the menus and everything else you get when docked in a station. This part of the tutorial takes you through the core movement and combat skills. After that's done it gets you to dock up at the only station in system. This is interesting as they get you to use the dock order which warps you to zero automatically instead of getting you to warp to zero first and then dock. I can understand using just the dock as it leaves the explicit warp-to instruction till later. As a 0.0 veteran I'm more used to warping to zero before doing any action so the straight up dock seems a bit odd.

Another interesting addition to the tutorial is this big white box that floats around when the tutorial wants you to do something with the UI. I think this is awesome as it gives new players this big "LOOK HERE" thing to speed up their initial learning instead of the hunting for the 10px x 10px that might have been flashing back when I started. Another really nice feature of this is that if you have a window over the button or item then the overlapping window will become transparent so you can see the button or item the big white box is pointing to.

The way the tutorial only spawns items as you need them for a specific step in the tutorial is nice. Instead of flooding the new user with a million items you start off with nothing but a Civilian Damage Control and the first ship you destroy has the classic 1 piece of Trit waiting for you as loot.

The tutorial also links to EVElopedia pages on subjects that the space and time of the tut doesn't really allow.

The explicit tutorial steps for joining a player corp are great compared to when I started. Mainly because the tutorial now covers them.

The career missions are an interesting addition. I went and bought a combat frig before finding out that the next mission gave you one as a reward. So I'm going to follow the mission arc until finished so I don't jump ahead and waste any more ISK. Especially as I'm not going to help myself to my main's stash.

Well that was an interesting evening. Will continue to work at this and see what happens.

The Experienced EVE Noob

It's been awhile since I last played EVE so I've been looking back and trying to figure out why. Was it burnout or just boredom or something else? The conclusion I came to was a combination of burnout of trying to keep up with all the 0.0 and corpie happenings and just getting a bit bored of the ISK grind but I still love the idea and most of the execution of the game.

So the other day an idea popped into my head. Start from scratch.

Now like almost all long time EVE players I have one alt to go along with my main. But that alt was pretty much speed trained right into a role that I wanted at the time. She never had to mission, grind or anything because of her sugar daddy main. But it has been so long since I was that noob we all were sitting in that Moa fitted with missiles and small hybrids that I though it would be interesting to do it all over again but with the advantage of knowing what I'm doing.

Of course I'm making it harder for myself to keep it interesting. I'll be moving into deep lowsec and try to live there. The stomping grounds of loners and pirates. It should be interesting. I plan to post the occaisional update on what it's like to be an EVE noob through the eyes of an experienced player.

A New Point Release on Life

Well after over 23 years living under the roof provided by my parents I have moved out into a flat. It's been an interesting experience so far and I'm flatting with good people so I haven't been stressing out too much. I've also been hired by the company that I was interning for over the summer so I am now a fully paid up member of society. ;)

 

And I finally got an ISP sorted out so I'm back on the internet after a weeklong non-work use vacation.

I Can Has Flu Vaccine?

Well today I let myself be fooled by big pharma and government and got the Flu vaccine for this year. It's the first time I've got a Flu vaccine and to be honest it was less work than even doing a blood donation. The needle was smaller that's for certain.

Now I know that it isn't going to protect me from Swine Flu which to be honest no one was expecting so how could they have made a vaccine for it. But it will protect me from the expected three major flu strains expected for this year. Also the NZ government had made this year's Flu vaccine free to everyone as opposed to the at risk groups.

Big Media Getting Tech Right for Once

I was just browsing through the New Zealand Herald's website and on the front page at the top is a link to a story, with a big picture, about web browsers. Not only that but they actually included Opera as well as the usual four suspects. The story contained a fair look at each browser and got everything factually correct as far as I could tell. So tie this up with some terminology the less tech savvy of us could understand and props to the New Zealand Herald for doing a decent tech article.

Donating Blood

On the 12th I made my 14th whole blood donation. Blood donation is one of the few things that I have a strong opinion about. For a small chunk of time every three months most people can help save lives. I say most because there are restrictions on who can and cannot donate blood.

For example down here in New Zealand anyone that has injected themselves with anything not prescribed by a doctor are not to donate blood. Also if you've been sick recently you shouldn't be donating blood which has stopped me before.

The entire process is very safe and pretty simple. You start off with a questionerre that covers the restrictions and such before donating blood. This is followed by talking to a nurse who looks at the questionerre and takes a quick hemoglobin count to make sure that it's high enough. After all of this the easy part happens. You lie back in a bed/chair thing while a nurse preps your arm and then sticks the needle. Now this is the most painful bit because while the needle doesn't go in far it is a fair size so as not to damage the blood cells. Then you sit back reading, listening to your mp3 player, napping, anything else that doesn't involve moving about for 10 to 15 minutes while the donation is taken. Afterwards the needle gets taken out, you sit back for a couple more minutes then go and get a bite to eat and something to drink. I'd say this is the best part because who can say no to sugary stuff.

And if you want to get into it even more down here in New Zealand every two weeks you can make a plasma donation where only the plasma is taken out. This is more involved and takes longer but with all the plasma products used the blood service down here is always asking for more plasma donors.

So donating blood is a simple, safe and useful way to help those around you that are in a bit of trouble. And if you're in Wellington the nurses and other donors are good fun and good to chat with.

 

NZ Blood Service

England and North Wales Blood Service

American Red Cross