Where Have All Our Bigots Gone?

March 30, 2015 in General

Recently, I came across a Gay Star News article which referred to Canadian ultra-homophobe Bill Whatcott. This former hardline fundamentalist antigay and antiabortion activist had despaired of Canada ever becoming as repressive as he’d like, and so he now inflicts himself on the Philippines. So, where have all our homophobes gone?

In some cases, they were elderly to begin with and succumbed to the inexorable processes of ageing, loss of cognitive focus, infirmity and mortality. That fate befell most of the perpetrators of opposition to the Homosexual Law Reform Act, now thirty years old. For example, Norm Jones, Barry Reed and Peter Tait are all no longer with us. Fundamentalist minister Graeme Lee has been out of Parliament for almost twenty years and Graham Capill stepped down from leadership of the Christian Heritage Party in 2004, was convicted of serial pedophilia in 2005 and served six years out of a nine year sentence, while his Christian Heritage Party dissolved in 2006. During that same year, Bruce Logan, former director of the Education Development Foundation/Maxim Institute, was forced to step down after a plagiarism scandal.  As for civil union antigay contingent members, Bishop Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church now claim that they are LGBT-inclusive, and former United Future fundamentalist List MPs Bernie Ogilvy, Murray Smith, Larry Baldock and Gordon Copeland didn’t survive subsequent New Zealand elections in 2005 and 2008. Baldock has now even been sent packing from the Conservative Party, which he and Copeland subsequently joined after dissolving their ineptly organised Kiwi Party vehicle.
All of this leaves the current contingent- the Conservative Party and Family First. As I’ve said beforehand about these two organisations, they probably represent the last steps in Christian Right development. Given plummeting Christian religious observance, sectarian fundamentalist microparties don’t have enough support to either secure a constituency or enough party votes to gain list-only representation in our Parliament.  Some unconfirmed reports suggest severe fragmentation and factionalism has befallen the Conservatives, even at its directorial level. Family First is a vacuous, empty facade of derivative declarations from (primarily) US Christian Right propaganda sources and is cravenly dependent on extremists like the Family Resource Council for that aforementioned propaganda, tactics and strategy. There’s just one thing wrong with their prescription- this is not the United States, and moreover, it probably never will be.  There’s also the question of relevance. Why is Family First running pieces on service provider discrimination/”religious liberty” bills in the United States when our own Human Rights Act has banned such discrimination here for the last twenty two years? It may be timely and newsworthy for the United States, which still has no comprehensive national anti-discrimination laws, but it’s about as relevant as torn and yellowing untended archival paper here.  I have other queries about its stance on same-sex parenting as well, which can be seen in the preceding article in this blog, “Traitors to the Cause.”
For LGBT New Zealanders, Family First and Bob McCoskrie are merely fun fair clowns whose empty heads pivot around with their mouths wide open, but with little substantive leaving them. They are mere nuisances and irritants, nothing more substantive. I’ve often wondered why Colin Craig and Bob McCoskrie are still hanging around in New Zealand. Perhaps they won’t do so forever. Some New Zealand Christian Right activists have fled New Zealand’s tide of social liberalism and inclusiveness, like Christchurch homophobe and anti-abortion fanatic Ray Comfort, who has lived in California for the last twenty five years, having left his home city back in 1990.
As I’ve said before, the only future the New Zealand Christian Right will have is as an anti-euthanasia movement. It’s interesting to see that Family First and Right to Life New Zealand are increasingly focusing on that aspect of conservative Christian politics.  There is no future for “pro-family” politics in New Zealand and the Christian Right neglects organising against euthanasia law reform at its own organisational peril.  Given that there will eventually be transgender rights anti-discrimination reform and comprehensive anti-bullying legislation during the next Labour/Greens term of office, any future anti-LGBT initiative is doomed to failure. So why doesn’t McCoskrie cease his vacuous grinning and retarget Family First if that’s what he wants, or else cede the field to specialist organisations like Right to Life? In time, he may be forced to do so, anyway.
Not Recommended:
Conservative Party: http://www.conservativeparty.org .nz
Family First: http://www.familyfirst. org.nz
Right to Life New Zealand: http://www.righttolife.org.nz

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