Media ID 0204-A
Parliamentary debate (8 March 1985) on the introduction of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill
Eddie Isbey, Fran Wilde, Jim McLay, Norm Jones, Trevor de Cleene, Venn Young
Continues on 0204-B and then 0205-A
This summary gives general themes as to the content of this recording. It is not a verbatim transcript. Always refer back to the original audio. This is a working document and any amendments/corrections are welcome.
Fran Wilde – Introduction of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill into Parliament (8 March 1985) The main points of this Bill..
Wilde – It is ten years since this House last considered a Bill of this nature.. people have moved away from the knee-jerk, hysterical opposition.. Those who oppose this Bill advance a number of arguments.. Christian moral standards.. sexuality in the Bible.. historic context.. Detrimental affects on the family unit.. Another myth is that gay people are child molesters.. Children need protection from adult heterosexuals – fathers, uncles..
Wilde – the corruption of young people.. sexual orientation.. There will always be the same level of homosexual/heterosexuals whatever the law.. Homosexuals are to be found everywhere..
Wilde – AIDS argument .. AIDS is not a homosexual disease.. many homosexuals in New Zealand are married.. casual sex .. If we are to effectively combat AIDS in New Zealand we need law reform.. I ask for Members to vote in favour of the introduction of this Bill
Speaker – The question is..
Jim McLay – Under National this Bill would not have enjoyed a high legislative priority.. If I had been here in 1974 I would have voted in favour of Venn Young’s Bill.. concerned about the age of consent .. I will not support this Bill if the age of consent remains at sixteen.. differing religious viewpoints.. A number of mainstream churches support some sort of reform.. AIDS argument is fallacious..
Trevor de Cleene - I speak in favour of it’s introduction.. I’m also a practising barrister of the High Court of New Zealand.. I was brought up in a society which regarded homosexuals with contempt.. Judge not.. I’ve acted in many homosexual cases .. I am sympathetic to the homosexual .. I do not condone the behaviour.. Equality in the law between males and females.. It was made illegal unintentionally..
de Cleene – age of consent.. The Wolfenden report in Britain.. they use to be burnt at the stake .. It’s a fear of many men that if they support this Bill people will point the finger.. The member, Mr Normal Jones, is champing at the bit..
Norm Jones – Mr Normal Jones.. I begin to wonder if I am normal.. Gay – the word is bastardised.. I have six of my own.. abnormal sex.. it’s about sodomy.. If the good Lord intended.. we’re not animals.. I’ve got a list here that categorizes all of the Members of Parliament.. When we’ve got crisis after crisis in this country why are we looking at this Bill.. Telegrams of support.. where are the church leaders who spoke up on nuclear free New Zealand.. what about an AIDS free New Zealand.. To legalize homosexuality means we’re legalizing the spread of AIDS in this community.. age of consent .. it’ll go down to ten or twelve.. I’m no moralizer.. It’s not going on in the bedrooms - it’s going on in the streets and schools .. it’s spreading a disease..
Jones – it’s hard enough to teach your kids now.. what is the best thing for our country.. this is wrong as far as the human race is concerned.. human rights – rubbish.. Where it has happened civilisations have gone down the tube.. You are either for it or against it.. It’s a moral issue.. AIDS increase..
Speaker – warning to public gallery.
Eddie Isbey – The greatest immorality at this time is the nuclear weapon.. I support this Bill.. We’re debating an issue that is undesirable but is understandable.. there is also unacceptable heterosexual activity
Isbey – Are we going to still hound people with different sexual orientations.. keep politics outside of the bedroom.. homosexual/heterosexual relationships.. Murder, rape, burglary are accepted as crimes .. should a human relationship be considered criminal activity.. There has been torment, torture ..over this question.. I totally support Fran Wilde.. I do not wish to hound people
Venn Young – It’s eleven years ago since the Crimes Amendment Bill was put before the House.. It’s appropriate that we again consider this question.. criminal/moral code..
Young - A change in the law won’t change the amount of homosexual behaviour in this country.. The law should not punish because it offends a moral that is accepted by society.. I’m concerned about the sixteen year old age of consent..
Young – I’d expect the Bill to be quite different on return from the Committee stages.. We should proceed with caution.