Media ID 0213-A
First day of Parliamentary debate (9 October 1985) on the second reading of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill
Doug Graham, Eddie Isbey, George Gair, Philip Woollaston, Whetu Tirikatene Sullivan
Parliamentary debate on the second reading spans 0213 – 0223, and 0206
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.
George Gair – We’re having this argument because the present law is deficient.. It is a difficult subject to debate.. We must try to put our personal prejudices aside.. I don’t think polls and petitions help..
Gair – the evidence from mothers and wives has been most revealing.. three key elements: age of consent, decriminalisation, discrimination..
Gair – age of consent at sixteen is compelling.. However I would prefer eighteen.. decriminalisation.. Part Two – discrimination.. Part Two is asking to legislate public attitude.. I will not support Part Two.
Gair – this Bill is described as a conscience measure.. where does the public good lie.. The House should not aggravate the division in society .. neither side should win entirely
Eddie Isbey –Ten years ago I voted for the passing of Venn Young’s Bill.. age of consent - there’s a common ground to have the age at sixteen.. The essential part of this Bill is the decriminalisation.. because you find a persons behaviour repugnant – do you send them jail.. response to list of sexual activities read out by the Member for Hauraki..
Isbey – The much greater immorality is nuclear weapons.. Does the Member for Tauranga really want to send them to jail.. democracy.. The Moral Majority have been brought in to attempt to condition New Zealanders .. I respect your conscience you should respect mine.. a crime is murder, it is rape ..
Isbey – Human Rights.. all people should have the right to a job, to associate in society.. AIDS.. decriminalise and help stop the spread of AIDS.. are we going to make heterosexual promiscuity a crime?
Doug Graham – moral issues.. I was brought up with Christian beliefs.. The Christian message is – forgiveness compassion, love and tolerance.
Graham – Is there suffering that needs to be alleviated? Yes .. I’m quite satisfied that homosexuality is not a choice.. to apply a criminal sanction is wrong.. Will others be at risk? No.. I do not support homosexuality but I have no desire to make it a criminal matter
Graham - age of consent at sixteen is a little young.. I would prefer the age to be higher.. Human Rights Act .. I think it is essential that all New Zealanders have freedom to express their views on anything.. but many find homosexuality abhorrent.. should they be allowed to discriminate.. we are suppressing opinion if we don’t allow it.. I want to be able to say I don’t want to employ you..
Graham – we should support decriminalisation, but I’m not convinced that sexual orientation be included in the Human Rights legislation
Whetu Tirikatene Sullivan – this Bill has two revolutionary purposes.. legitimising homosexual lifestyles.. redefine normalcy .. gay liberation revolution.. The revolution began in the US in 1970.. strident arrogant young gays.. I have concern for the older monogamous gays.. We are following the same sequence events ..
Tirikatene Sullivan – Gay bars and saunas.. Stonewall riot.. we have equivalent meeting places.. promiscuity defies the imagination.. destructive and degrading institutions..
Tirikatene Sullivan - I do not want to see them [gay bars/saunas] in New Zealand.. AIDS.. we see the implications of gay liberation.. reservoir of disease.. homosexual periodicals advise on male homosexual practise..
Tirikatene Sullivan – sexually transmitted diseases.. quoting literature.. impersonal sexual activity.. high risk activities.. fisting..
Tirikatene Sullivan – Dr Dan Williams.. AIDS followed as he predicted.. they are a high-risk population.. gays are ten times more likely to get AIDS than the general population.. health surveys of gays.. 10% of homosexuals have more than five-hundred sexual partners in their lifetime..
Tirikatene Sullivan – any Act that will impact on community health should not be passed..
Philip Woollaston – fears of constituents.. preying on young boys – that is incorrect.. [continues on 0213-B]