The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Yesterday I heard a man on National Radio who outraged me (and no it wasn't Matthew Hooton). I only caught the end of the interview, but he was on part of Jim Mora's show in the afternoon, The Panel, and he was from what sounded like a very Stone Age organisation, Family First. I think the man in question was Steven Tetley-Jones, but the only person mentioned on their website is someone called Bob McCoskrie, so if any reader can enlighten me I'd appreciate it.

Anyway, The Man From Family First was talking about gay and lesbian adoption. He trotted out the tired old "unnatural" label, and went on and on about two heterosexual parents being best. (Never mind that the traditional nuclear family is in fact not the exclusive group that raise a child - extended whanau, family friends, members of the community, teachers, Plunket nurses, many many people raise every single child in our society. It is often when these other people are absent that a family, however it is composed, ends up under incredible stress and the child's upbringing starts to swing off course.)

Then The Man From Family First used a line that sent a shiver down my spine. He said (I paraphrase)

We don't want people have children for the wrong reason, for their own
ends... We don't want anyone to have a child wanting to raise it to
be just like them.
The implication being that homosexual parents would want to have a child for one of two reasons (or possibly both):
1. To raise homosexual children and thus perpetuate the homosexual master race that will soon outnumber heterosexuals (and no doubt outlaw the missionary position or somesuch)
2. To have access to a child to sexually abuse.
Mora, to his credit, seemed highly uncomfortable with all this, pointing out that the rates of sexual abuse by gay or lesbian people are actually very low. He didn't actually say that most sexual violence and abuse is carried out by heterosexual men, but I was yelling this at the radio so loudly I wouldn't be surprised if they could hear that point in the studio.

What chilled me though was the way this Man From Family First was discussing it all in such a jovial manner. At points he laughed and treated some of Mora's questions as if they were just having a jolly old jape down at their local. How could he reel off these outrageous accusations so lightly, as if they were accepted wisdom and beyond challenge? How can anyone expound such things on a radio station, so casually, and be completely oblivious to their effect?

Later on I slightly balanced up my disbelief by listening to the excellent 20 Years Out documentary that Maia recommended a few days ago. I'm too young to remember what happened and I didn't realise how much I take for granted until I heard that doco. It was startling, the hatred, and over what? If you don't want to have sex with a fellow XXer or XYer just don't. If you don't want to even think about it, then don't. John Banks certainly took the award for worst speaker, at one point denouncing it all as "very very very very bad." How about very very very very lame, John?

Some days I think we've come a long way - yesterday I didn't.

Update: Idiot/Savant has a good post on the anniversary with some very interesting links.


Ghet said...

It's nice to know other people yell at radios and television in outrage, too.

This is... so far out it's kind of funny. You tell me this guy doesn't raise his children to be 'just like him'?

And he's forgotten, of course, the secret undercover troops of the Gay Conspiracy, the bis. I sit here right now in my leafy suburban street, raising my children, passing on the gay genes, and there's not one damn thing he can do about it. Makes me giggle.

They had a poll on Stuff about gay adoption the other day. I often try to predict the results of polls there by imagining a hard-right paradise, or what I would consider the 'worst possible result', and it was actually only 55% opposed. I reckon if we can get it out of the ballot we might get it passed. Despite idiots like that getting a nice free platform for their frothing prejudices.

PabloR said...

While talkback is universally known as the place where ignorance meets the world, I had the misfortune to listen to Morer last week when he had some regular tosspot on talking about the evil that is Unionism. Fortunately the woman on with him was able to hold her own but Morer just comes across as a total limp dick.

My wife has pretty much managed to stop me swearing loudly at TV & radio, particularly when the kids are around, but it doesn't do my blood pressure any good listening to that bullshit!

span said...

I'm just waiting for my "Straight Traitor" Badge to arrive in the post - damn it, if I can't pass on the genes myself I'm sure as hell going to try the socialisation route instead ;-)

On the yelling at the radio/tv thing - I tend to also yell at the computer, when reading certain blogs (*cough* kiwiblog *cough*). Doing this at work can result in embarassing situations however...

Anonymous said...

For Information relating to who's who in the Family First Lobby check out this Family First Lobby Press Release:
Family First announces its Board of Reference
Online at:

span said...

Thanks anon (for both the information and bolstering my faith in allowing anon comments).

Interesting that they claim:
"[Family First] represent the face of NZ families, who all desire to see a strong voice for family issues in the media and in policy making in New Zealand."

And yet not one of the people listed appears to have a family of any type other than the traditional nuclear - no single parents, and certainly no same-sex couples.

Sad that they see the definition of family as being so narrow.

Ghet said...

LOL Yes, we need some kind of classification, like NSFW, for those internet pages that make you yell 'oh for f**k's sake!' in public.