The Labour Lone Wolf
Su'a William Sio, Labour MP for Mangere, has called for fellow party member Lousia Wall’s gay marriage bill to be withdrawn from parliamentary consideration as it would alienate seemingly social-conservative (and largely religious) Pacific Island portions of Labour electorates.
It’s rather blatant politicking from Mr Sio, as he’s desperate to protect his voting base come the next election, but his other reasons ring rather true, namely that "there are more weightier and more pressing issues like…the weakening economy and lack of jobs.”
It would be an intellectual surrender to abandon a conscience vote on the back of religious pressure, as Stone Age reasoning holds no place in a modern and pluralistic society (hear that Bob McCroskie?).
It’s a matter of priorities, and where we, as a nation, wish to place our emphasis.
Will it be on creating jobs and sending our economy back in to the black? Or will we waste parliamentary time on something that really ought to wait?
I know this argument might be thoroughly unpopular in the liberal circles to which I belong, but we have Civil Unions for the time being (symbolic though they are). Marriage rights can wait while the growing disparity between rich and poor is addressed.
Capturing a Niche Market
In other related news, a corporate propaganda war is being raged in the US at the moment, parading as allegiance to the gay rights cause.
Because I’m not a Bible-bashing redneck who lives in the South, I had no idea what Chick-Fil-A was until newspapers told me it’s yet another analogous American fast-food outlet who officially sided against marriage equality. It prompted outrage from proponents of the movement, and tired justification from its enemies, yet it’s only the latest in a string of businesses coming down on either side of the fence.
Witness Urban Outfitters, WalMart, Kraft Foods, and now Starbucks taking a stance either way, but it seems to me less tied to opinions of human rights than a damn fine business oppourtunity.
When Chick-Fil-A took their side in the debate, Mike Huckabee (Fox News hawk) called for solidarity with the junk food outlet, leading to conservatives the country over lining up to vote with their pocketbooks.
Starbucks has faced this, too, though in the opposite direction. Customers have been queuing in increasing numbers to outweigh a boycott from conservative pundits.If this isn’t sneaky dealing, and servicing a temporary niche market, then I don’t know what is.
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