Bay of Plenty Times 28 March 2012Defiant pornographer Steve Crow has vowed to bring Boobs on Bikes back to Tauranga despite council moves aimed at blocking the topless parade. Tauranga City Council is proposing to make offensiveness one of the grounds for requiring permission to hold a street parade. But Mr Crow said he would fight the council. “It won’t make any difference to me whatsoever,” he told the Bay of Plenty Times. “I will take zero notice of any bylaw they bring in. I’m not vaguely interested in what the Tauranga City Council considers offensive. If they want to waste Tauranga ratepayers’ money, let them. I have plenty of money, I’m happy to fight them.” In a review of its street use bylaws, the council yesterday took the first step towards making it more difficult for the organiser of the Auckland erotic festival to use Tauranga streets to promote his event. Boobs on Bikes created a furore last year among residents who considered the topless parade indecent. They said it lowered the city’s moral tone. Protests, including several attempts by Christian groups to stop its progress, led to a heavy police presence as the procession wound its way along The Strand and Devonport Rd. Yesterday’s council meeting agreed unanimously to amend the bylaw in which the only circumstances requiring council permission to hold a parade were impeding pedestrian or vehicle access. As well as making offensiveness one of the tests for requiring council permission, the meeting also added the potential for parades to cause a public nuisance or endanger public health.http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/boobs-bikes-returning-porn-king/1321643/
Wanganui Chronicle 5 Sep 2012Whanganui MP Chester Borrows’ decision to vote against the gay marriage bill was a personal one, and not that of his constituents.Mr Borrows was among 40 MP’s to vote against Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill, which passed its first reading with 80 votes in favour on August 31.Mr Borrows said as a conscience vote, his stance reflected his personal opinion.MP’s should make themselves available to their constituents to express their views, and he had been acquainted with the Whanganui electorate long enough that they should should know how he would feel about issues like this, he said.Over a 10-day period, Mr Borrows said he received about 200 emails a day on the bill, some of which were “quite vitriolic”, from both supporters and detractors of the bill.However, only a fraction of the emails were identifiably from people within the Whanganui electorate. The majority were sent to all MPs via a Family First website, so it was impossible to discern where they originated from, but he responded to those clearly from Wanganui, he said.After the vote, Mr Borrows said he got up to another 600 emails thanking him for his vote. The bill is now to be considered by a select committee, before facing two further votes before it can pass in to law.http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/news/mps-gay-marriage-stance-personal/1532289/
Washington Post 10 Oct 2012Gallaudet University’s chief diversity officer was placed on paid leave on Wednesday after school officials learned that she signed a petition challenging a new same-sex marriage law in Maryland. Angela McCaskill, who has worked for more than 20 years at the university for the deaf and hard of hearing, was among more than 200,000 Maryland residents to sign a petition seeking a referendum vote on the measure. The petition succeeded, and enactment of the law was put on hold pending the outcome of the referendum in November. On Wednesday, Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz said he had placed McCaskill on administrative leave. “It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer; however, other individuals feel differently,” Hurwitz said in a statement released to the news media. “I will use the extended time while she is on administrative leave to determine the appropriate next steps.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/gallaudet-diversity-officer-on-paid-leave-after-signing-petition-on-same-sex-marriage-law/2012/10/10/bdb1e720-1332-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.htmlFamily Research Council President Tony Perkins had the following reaction: “Until a few years ago, a decision punishing an employee for engaging in the democratic process would have been jaw-dropping. However, Gallaudet University ‘s discriminatory action reflects the troubling trend of intimidation and bullying tactics against those who uphold marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Over the summer, we saw two mayors attempt to block Chick-fil-a location permits simply because the mayors disagreed with the marriage views of Chick-fil-A’s CEO.“A person should no more be punished for signing a petition than they should be for voting. This is a basic citizen’s right to participation in our democratic process. Gallaudet University claims to believe in diversity but clearly their definition of diversity doesn’t allow for dissent when it comes to marriage. ” Gallaudet University ‘s action underscores that far more is at stake in redefining marriage than two people walking down the aisle. Indeed, the very livelihood of business owners and employees is at stake. If marriage is redefined, we can fully expect to see more of these discriminatory actions taken against anyone who espouses marriage as it has always been defined. “The University President should be fired for violating our most basic civil rights. The University’s punishment will no doubt have a chilling effect. If this is allowed to stand, others will follow,” concluded Perkins.
Rotorua Daily Post 30 Oct 2012Rotorua principals say it will be far easier for children to bring drugs to school if the Government goes ahead with a new bill. The Education Amendment Bill, which was introduced to Parliament this month, aims to abolish the use of drug sniffer dogs and drug testing in schools. The Ministry of Education says the changes will encourage safe learning environments without invasive methods but local principals disagree. John Paul College principal and New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said the bill “appeared out of nowhere”, with no consultation given to principals or school representatives. He said the bill would make it easier for children to bring drugs to school because deterrents were taken away, like drug testing and random searches. “We all know there is a problem with drugs in the community and parents have an expectation that schools will be drug free. “[This bill] seems contradictory from the Ministry of Education which says they want to keep schools safe from drugs.” Mr Walsh said currently schools could use drug testing and urine samples as a condition for suspended students returning to school who were caught with drugs. He said if the bill was passed, schools would be unable to suggest drug testing as a deterrent.http://www.rotoruadailypost.co.nz/news/drugs-in-schools-will-rise-principals/1602025/Principal slams Govt drug changesNZ Herald 31 Oct 2012A Northland headmaster has written to Prime Minister John Key expressing his concerns about banning drug sniffer dogs from schools, saying it is “short-sighted nonsense” and proposed new legislation was “nuts”.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10844080
Newstalk ZB 26 Jan 2013Members of Parliament are being accused of being desperate to ram through the same sex marriage bill.Family First says both National and Labour want to push it through as quickly as possible, to get it off the agenda.National Director Bob McCoskrie says the two parties know their core voter support bases aren’t happy with the bill.He says they’re trampling over the rights of New Zealanders to have their chance to speak and contribute to debate on the issue.Bob McCoskrie says the fact a record of more than 20,000 submissions has been received on the bill shows just how important the issue is.http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/21768640-mps-accused-of-trying-to-rush-gay-marriage-bill
Public Discourse 8 July 2013After having spent the last year involved in the debate about same-sex parenting, I can say the following with great confidence: both sides of the same-sex marriage debate are afraid of naming child abuse by same-sex couples. The issue is so raw and painful that even critics of same-sex parenting are scared to go there.Pro-SSM people say gays have been unfairly stereotyped as child abusers, so any discussion of gay child abusers is adding to their oppression. Anti-SSM commentators generally don’t want the added fuss of showing up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of homophobes. So a general pattern emerges: even when you critique same-sex parenting, you must never do so in terms that sound accusatory or equate homosexuality with child abuse.Let’s be clear: I am not saying that same-sex parents are automatically guilty of any kind of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse to the children they raise. Nor am I saying that LGBT people are less likely to take good care of children.What I mean is this: Even the most heroic mother in the world can’t father. So to intentionally deprive any child of her mother or father, except in cases like divorce for grave reasons or the death of a parent, is itself a form of abuse. (Though my mother raised me with the help of a lesbian partner, I do not feel I was abused, because I always knew that my mother didn’t intend for my father to divorce her.)This holds true not only for same-sex parenting, but for any choice to parent a child in a less-than-ideal setting for a less-than-grave reason. It’s abuse, for example, for a single parent to adopt a child when many other equally good two-parent homes are available. It’s abuse for parents to divorce simply for reasons related to their own emotional happiness. It’s abuse for LGBT couples to create children through IVF and then deprive them of a mother or father.Media Tip-Toeing Around AbuseTwo recent pieces in the Washington Post and the New York Times last month are noteworthy, because both broke the silence on the downsides of same-sex parenting but still carefully avoided the word “abuse.”After months of presenting a whitewashed portrait of same-sex parenting, the Post finally ran a letter from Tommy Valentine of Alexandra, Virginia, warning the proponents of homosexual adoption that “A child is not a commodity to be coveted, like the car or house,” and “Even with an ‘open adoption’ arrangement with his birth mother, Kyler [the adoptee] is being deprived of the unique, irreplaceable impact of a life with a mother and father.”Three days later the New York Times ran a self-reflective piece by Frank Litgvoet, a gay man who is raising two adopted children with his male partner, titled “The Misnomer of Motherless Parenting.” Litgvoet deserves tremendous praise for being willing to name the integral flaw in same-sex parenting, despite how promising it looks to gay adults:Being a “motherless” child in an open adoption is not as simple as it looks, because there is a birth mother, who walks in and walks out of the lives of our children. And when she is not physically there, she is—as we know from many accounts of adult adoptees—still present in dreams, fantasies, longings and worries. . . .When the mother walks into the lives of our kids it is mostly a wonderful experience. It is harder for them when she walks out, not only because of the sad goodbye of a beloved adult, but also because it triggers the difficult and painful question of why she walked out in the first place.http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/07/10474/?utm_source=RTA+Lopez+abuse&utm_campaign=winstorg&utm_medium=email
Washington Post 1 April 2015A national firestorm has erupted over an Indiana law that, in all essentials, mirrors the legal standard protecting religious liberty in all federal courts and 31 state courts. Why? The answer, unfortunately, is “the culture war” — and, contrary to media portrayals, conservatives aren’t the aggressors here.Who favors coercion in this debate? Who opposes tolerance and pluralism? The answer to both questions: activists on the left.The laws under attack — Religious Freedom Restoration Acts — are designed to shield all faiths from government coercion. These acts have, for example, protected a Sikh woman’s freedom to carry religious articles at her workplace. They have allowed a Native American boy to wear his hair long, according to his religious beliefs, at his school.They also might protect those who hold the belief — attested to from the beginning of the Hebrew Bible to the end of the Christian Bible and throughout the Koran — that marriage is the union of man and woman.And that’s the belief that the left cannot abide. Well-funded special-interest groups refuse to respect the liberty of people of faith who simply ask to be left alone by government to run their charities, schools and businesses in accordance with their beliefs about marriage.http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/religious-liberty-protections-promote-tolerance/2015/04/01/4fb66cca-d88b-11e4-ba28-f2a685dc7f89_story.html?postshare=4961427978235186
Banned book Into The River picked up by American publisherNZ Herald 30 September 2015A sexually explicit book for teenagers that no commercial publisher would touch when it was written has been picked up by an American publisher – thanks to being banned in New Zealand.Into The River, by Auckland author Ted Dawe, is subject to an interim ban until the Film and Literature Board of Review meets on Friday to decide on its classification – the first such ban on any book since the current censorship law was passed in 1993.It will now be published in the United States by thriller writer Jason Pinter of Polis Books, a new firm founded in 2013 which lists 24 other authors on its website.The news comes on the day Mr Dawe is due to speak on the controversy around the book at the Auckland Central Library at 6pm tonight.Ironically, he and his wife originally self-published the book in 2013 because no commercial publisher was interested.Family First director Bob McCoskrie, who started the controversy by sending the book to the Film and Literature Board of Review, said he did not regret it because the book should be restricted.“Whatever Ted Dawe has gained out of it, well he can count his blessings, but as far as we are concerned there’s a far bigger issue here of protecting young people,” he said.He has asked the review board to reimpose an R14 restriction which it imposed in December 2013. That ruling was overturned in August this year by the Deputy Chief Censor, who made the book totally unrestricted.A spokesman for the board said it was likely to take several weeks to write up and publish its decision after it meets on Friday. The book is likely to remain banned until the decision is released.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11521492
NBC 9 November 2016Family First Comment: Interesting that one (and possibly another, too close to call) said NO to pot.#notadonedealCalifornia, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, giving a huge boost to the campaign to allow pot nationwide. Six more states also voted on marijuana measures, while voters in California and Washington state toughened gun control laws.In Nebraska, voters reinstated the death penalty, reversing the Legislature’s decision last year to repeal capital punishment. Nebraska has not executed an inmate since 1997; 10 men currently sit on death row.In all, there were more than 150 measures appearing on statewide ballots. California led the pack with 17 ballot questions, including one that would require actors in porn movies to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Another would ban single-use plastic grocery bags.In all, five states considered whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Arizonans defeated the measure in their state. The outcome in Maine was too close to call early Wednesday.Overall, the results were hailed as historic by legalization activists, given that California is the most populous state. Massachusetts became the first state east of the Rockies to join the movement.Voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved measures allowing marijuana use for medical purposes. Montanans voted on whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.READ MORE: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/33657840/death-penalty-gun-control-pot-among-ballot-measure-issues
Sue Bradford, the former Green MP behind the law, told The AM Show on Monday she was “horrified” by his recent comments.“What he’s advocating is the return of the legalising of assault on our children, which is the last thing our kids need and the last thing the kids of Northland need.”The Northland MP and NZ First leader on Friday said: “We are going to repeal the anti-smacking law which doesn’t work, and has in fact seen greater violence towards children.”Ms Bradford said: “He’s talking about this on the back of the incident up in Kaikohe recently with the young people rampaging.“Those kids probably see far too much violence I’d suggest in their lives already, far too much poverty, unemployment, a lack of opportunities for their families in their part of the country.”Conservative lobby group Family First says there have been massive increases in child abuse in the decade since the law began, but Ms Bradford says repealing the anti-smacking law won’t fix that.“As the truly dreadful levels of family violence in this country continue, they cannot be laid to this law. No law can stop that.”READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/winston-peters-a-dangerous-old-man-sue-bradford.htmlWinston Peters: Vow to repeal anti-smacking lawNewsTalk ZB 27 March 2017New Zealand First has pledged to repeal the anti-smacking law.Leader Winston Peters in a speech on Friday said; “We are going to repeal the anti-smacking law which doesn’t work and has in fact seen greater violence towards children.”LISTEN TO NZ FIRST LEADER WINSTON PETERS SPEAK WITH LEIGHTON SMITHhttp://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/leighton-smith-show/winston-peters-vow-to-repeal-anti-smacking-law/New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wants referendum on anti-smacking lawNZ Herald 27 March 2017New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wants a referendum on smacking laws to go to the people.Peters said in a speech on Friday the party’s policy was to hold a referendum on the anti-smacking law.“From the word go, we said this matter should go to a referendum with New Zealand people who are far more reliable and trustworthy on these matters, rather than a bunch of temporarily empowered parliamentarians,” he told Newstalk ZB.“I said very clearly that we’ve got young people running amok up here and around the country. They can’t be touched. There’s a hundred reasons given by sociologists and apologists for what’s happening, but these people know what’s wrong, know what they’re doing is wrong, know they can’t be touched, know there’s no consequences.”READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11826327 NewsHub 27 March 2017Family First Comment: NZ First says they will send it back to a Referendum. Haven’t we already had one? Winston Peters has been labelled a “dangerous old man” who’s “really past his prime”, after vowing to repeal the so-called anti-smacking law.