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Perspectives on the Homosexual Law Reform Bill

1. Describe the issue of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill from two contrasting points of view.  For each point of view please explain the values that the person or organisation has, and how these values belong to wider or shared perspectives.  Refer to your work in Module 1 on points of view, values and perspectives to help you.

2. Briefly describe the aims of the anti-reform campaign led by people such as Norman Jones, and organisations like the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

3. Explain those individuals’ and/or groups’ probable reasons for selecting the actions within the campaign.

4. Explain the consequences of the campaign. Consequences can be long term or short term, economic, social, political, or personal.  You should consider at least two consequences.

5. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-reform campaign, including possible modifications which could hae been made to improve the campaign’s influence on policy.  Critical evaluation requires you to weigh the pros and cons of different campaign strategies.

1. The Homosexual Law Reform Bill has been regarded as a landmark judgement in the history of New Zealand and it was passed in the year 1986 (Chan,2014). ‘Homosexuality’ is absolutely normal and a personal choice made by an individual. Prior to 1986, the homosexual individuals who were vocal about their sexual preferences were brutally oppressed and tortured by the governing authorities in terms of physical and mental torture. Back then, ‘homosexuality’ was considered a sin and homosexuals were strongly condemned by the society. Although, after the Homosexual Reform Bill was passed, the ill fate of people belonging to this community changed but the acceptance of the idea to incorporate a reform movement was extremely challenging and it involved the combined efforts of a number of social activists and numerous social campaigns launched by the welfare organizations that supported the sentiments of the homosexual people. The ‘Reform Bill’ drew the attention of the people to safeguard the lives of the homosexuals and guarantee them the minimal human rights in order to help them lead a secured life and eventually in compliance with the above said, the Human Rights Commission included a clause in favour of the homosexuals in the year 1993 (Chan,2014).  The Homosexual Reform Bill has affected the social structure of New Zealand to a considerable extent and two diverse perspective towards the reform law is said to have operated in the society of New Zealand. The first group of people were extremely reluctant towards the homosexuals, as they could not digest the concept of a man falling in love with a man or a woman falling in love with another women. The stereotypic thought process dominated the society and the people were extremely scared about the fact that similar to the trend of homosexuality, a day might arrive when people would prefer mating with animals or little children for the sake of sexual preference and satisfaction. On the other hand, the younger population of the nation were more open and non-judgemental towards the concept of homosexuality and believed that emotions of love and sexual desired cannot be directed by the judgemental attitude prevailing in the society. The Youngsters considered homosexuality as an extremely normal phenomenon and not a state of mental disorder or a kind of disease. The group of people who were staunch followers of the second perspective were the primary activists who launched several social campaigns to secure basic rights to the individuals belong to the homosexual community (Dwyer,2014). The first gay marriage that took place in New Zealand served as a glorious example of the all the efforts that the social activists had fostered in order to gain legal rights for the LGBT community.

Anti-Reform Campaign: Aims and Actions

2. The passing of the Reform Bill did not go well with the people holding anti tolerance policies for the homosexual community. The major anti-reform campaigns were led by the nation’s member of parliaments, namely Graham Lee, Geoff Braybrooke and Norman Jones. On the other hand the Coalition of Concerned Citizens were led by the religious leaders Sir Keith Hay and Sir Peter Tait (Smith et al.,2014). The Coalition of Concerned Citizens gained the support of the Church and raised a petition against the reform bill to receive around one lakh signatures. The aim of these anti-reform movements were to mobilise the people based on the ethical and religious grounds against ‘homosexuals’ (Smith et al.,2014).

3. The anti-reform campaign was based on the moral grounds of the people and believed that legalising ‘homosexuality’ would lead to an increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and Syphilis. Norman Jones sternly despised ‘homosexuals’ and treated them as contaminants that would lead to a destruction of the moral ethics of the next generation (Steven,2013).

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens aimed at achieving a purpose of God by eradicating the concept of ‘homosexuals’ completely. The coalition published the fact that it was extremely mandatory to rise up against the reform bill as it violates the principles of Christianity and goes against the divine theories that the Bible testifies. They believed that the campaigns would spread an awareness among the people to rise up for ‘moral conduct’ and ‘righteousness of the conscience’ (Ryan et al.,2014). The coalition treated homosexuality as a sin and spread the message among the people nationwide to pray and redeem for the sin that has been committed by the humans to attain liberalisation (Bateman & Tucker,2015). The coalition portrayed the anti-reform movement as the divine doctrine of God and urged people to defy the reform bill that had been passed by the government of New Zealand to support the cause of the homosexuals.

Explain those individuals’ and/or groups’ probable reasons for selecting the actions within the campaign.  [Word count guide: 300 words]

Norman Jones addressed the individuals belonging to the LGBT community as trash from the gutters destroying the moral essence of the society. The Coalition believed in wiping off the very existence of the homosexuals branding them as criminals and demanding severe punishment for them. They openly ridiculed the homosexual individuals on grounds of their sexual orientation and even violently attacked them with sticks and stones. The individuals participating in the reform campaigns and pride march were injured brutally and denied the basic rights including denial of permission to donate blood in blood banks or semen to the sperm banks of various infertility clinics as it was believed that their blood and body fluids were impure (Majid,2015). The antireform activists and the coalition resorted to the inhuman methods to condemn the bill because they believed that this bill would lead to a major downfall of the moral and ethical principles of the people. The protest movements included a lot of brutal torture because the aim was to create an essence of fear among the LGBT community and rebuke their sexual preferences as an act of defying the divine theories of God. After the legal acceptance of the bill, evoking fear and humiliation were the most convenient strategies that could be adopted by the anti-reform activists in order to compel the people to believe that homosexuality was a great sin and the society would sublime to a satanic approach with an acceptance of the legalisation which would leave no good things in the world to draw the mercy and the blessings of the almighty. The Christian church played a pivotal role in giving a huge shape to the propaganda against homosexual reform movement.

Reasons for the Anti-Reform Actions

4. It is not hard to wonder the terrible plight of the homosexuals faced during the anti-reform movements. However, with a lot of struggle and countless hard efforts, the law was finally accepted by the people of New Zealand. Gay marriage as well as Lesbian marriage was now legalised and no more a criminal offence requiring death penalty or life-term imprisonment (Leckey,2014). The establishment of the Dorian Society marks the first ever establishment for the gay men that provided legal advice and was non- political in spirit. The consent age of the gay men was a debatable topic of discussion for a long period of time but eventually with compliance to the spirit of equality the consent age was agreed to be ‘16’ years for the homosexuals similar to that of the heterosexuals with special laws for the protection of the minors. The gay and lesbian couples could make their relationship official according to the Civil Unions Act passed in the year 2005 (Leckey,2014). In 2013, gay and lesbian marriage was legalised under the marriage amendment bill (Chan,2014). Adoption of babies was also legalised for the LGBT community which is considered to be the most desirable and positive outcome expected by the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender couples because bringing up a child is an emotion worth cherishing and should never be restricted to a certain section of the society. The 20th century saw other positive consequences too including, legalising blood donation by gay men and equal voting rights and say in policies framed by the government authorities.

5. The legalisation of the homosexual reform laws was strongly protested by the coalition as well as significant national leaders despite the passing of the reform bill, the LGBT community was subjected to cruel torture and strong condemning attitude of the organisations launching the anti-reform campaigns invariably. The plight of the people belonging to the homosexual community was that despite being promised to receive legal support from the government, the authorities remained aloof and it took a long time to be guaranteed the basic rights of acceptance. The anti-reform movements were focused more on manipulating the religious sentiments of the people and mobilising them to turn up against the LGBT community (Bateman & Tucker,2015). The classic myth regarding the sexual diseases that would gradually engulf the entire population of New Zealand if the legalisation was not condemned was successful to quite an extent. The policies adopted by the anti-reform activists such as publically assaulting homosexual people, humiliating them and spitting on them led to the intervention of the human rights commission that gradually brought to notice the inhuman attitude being displayed towards them and that made people regain their consciousness towards humanity. The anti-reform campaigns could actually accumulate statistical evidences in favour of the fact that they tried to establish against the homosexuals adding up the percentage of AIDS and contaminating the entire population in future, that would probably help gain the genuine attention of the entire population.

References: 

Bateman, G. (2015). John Tucker: A Braided River: New Zealand Baptists and Public Issues 1882–2000. Bern: Peter Lang, 2013; pp. 364. Journal of Religious History, 39(3), 435-436.

Chan, P. C. (2014). Changing Times, Changing Minds, Changing Law–Sexual Orientation and New Zealand Law, 1960 to 2005. In Equality in Asia-Pacific (pp. 91-113). Routledge.

Dwyer, A. (2014). Pleasures, perversities, and partnerships: The historical emergence of LGBT-police relationships. In Handbook of LGBT communities, crime, and justice (pp. 149-164). Springer, New York, NY.

Leckey, R. (Ed.). (2014). After Legal Equality: Family, Sex, Kinship. Routledge.

Majid, W. R. A. (2015). Rights demanded by LGBT people: A preliminary refutation. TAFHIM: IKIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World, 8.

Ryan, I., Ravenswood, K., & Pringle, J. K. (2014). 10 equality and diversity in aotearoa new Zealand. 9.78 E+ 12: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment, 175.

Smith, T. W., Son, J., & Kim, J. (2014). Public attitudes toward homosexuality and gay rights across time and countries.

Steven, D. (2013). Narratives of Incorporation: An Anthropological Analysis of Same-Sex Civil Unions in New Zealand.

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My Assignment Help. 'Homosexual Law Reform Bill: Perspectives, Aims, Actions, Consequences, And Evaluations' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/soc301-living-in-aotearoa-new-zealand-contemporary-world> accessed 30 May 2024.

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