Wouldn’t you be embarrassed if…..?

Written By: - Date published: 1:28 pm, October 15th, 2008 - 40 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, same old national - Tags: ,

I have to declare – yes, I am an urban liberal. So I would be embarrassed if a member of my family said this:

The National Party’s candidate for New Plymouth (Jonathan Young) says homosexuality is a choice and strongly objects to it being seen as a “normal alternative“:

Jonathan Young’s views, printed in the Taranaki Daily Times at the weekend, angered GayNZ.com readers in New Plymouth who contacted us. “One of my associates was an ex-lesbian,” Young told the newspaper. “She discovered through her own journey and talking to others that a lot of things happened to her in her childhood that affected her deeply and caused her to become [homosexual].

“One of the things I do strongly object to in terms of the people who have made this choice is the presentation of it as a normal alternative,” he concluded.

The article goes onto say:

Young, 50, was Senior Minister of CityChurch Waitakere in West Auckland for 18 years prior to moving back to his birthplace in Taranaki this year. He is one of the nine children of Venn Young, the long-serving National Party politician who championed homosexual law reform and became well-known for his failed attempt to legalise ‘homosexual acts’ in 1975. GayNZ.com has attempted to contact Young via phone and email, but has not received a response as yet.

That’s not quite the fresh image I thought National was looking for? I wonder what Mr Key thinks of his candidates clearly stated opinion? But then again Mr Key did oppose civil unions, despite having no problems personally with them…

40 comments on “Wouldn’t you be embarrassed if…..?”

  1. Daveski 1

    I think it is difficult if not dangerous to use conscience matters to categorise political parties. While I’m sure the balance is different in Labour, you could equally take comments from conservative Christians in Labour (I assume they still exist!) and say it’s not a good look for Labour.

    On these types of issues, party lines are almost useless. Try another line of attack.

  2. John Stevens 2

    My god, another christian for the National party. He may have this opinion based on his religous beleifs. At least he is not saying to kill homos like ‘the religion of peace’.

    I think you will find under National people are allowed to be more opiniated than Labour MPs.

  3. randal 3

    I was embarrassed last night to listen to all of john keys lies. He keeps talking about his economic experience but he never actually made anything. there never was a john keys and co. furthermore he knows that one solution for new zealands economy is specialised niche manufacturing but no pronouncements on that score either. natoinal is an embarassment fullstop.

  4. John, I’m not worried about whether they’re opinionated or not, I’m worried about their opinions.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Specialised niche manufacturing – do tell. Examples please sounds fascinating.

    I would have thought most manufacturers in NZ niche or otherwise have moved their manufacturing offshore.

    [there are hundreds of thousands of people employed in manufacturing in NZ, many in small high-tech industries, we need to encourage that further. We can’t get richer exporting primary goods and providing services to each other. SP]

  6. insider 6

    I’d be more embarassed by a government MP saying stoning people was ok as long as it wasn;t in NZ.

    Wonder what Dover and Taito think about gays

  7. Scribe 7

    Good points insider.

    Don’t forget Ross Robertson. What about Sua William Si’o?

  8. insider 8

    Forgot to add Steve, this is a democracy with a range of views in society. It’s hardly surprising some things are said you don’t agree with. Not everyone in Labour agrees with everything that is their policy – I thought you liked diversity?

  9. Scribe 9

    insider,

    you know full well that words like “tolerance” and “diversity” are only applicable to certain sectors of society.

    “You must tolerate me, but don’t even expect me to tolerate you”

  10. Nick 10

    Bloody chinless scarf-wearers.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Young told the newspaper. “She discovered through her own journey and talking to others that a lot of things happened to her in her childhood that affected her deeply and caused her to become [homosexual].

    “One of the things I do strongly object to in terms of the people who have made this choice is the presentation of it as a normal alternative,’ he concluded.

    So which is it? A choice, or something caused by external factors?

    Whatever else he is, surely we can agree this guy’s an idiot who hasn’t thought out his position here.

  12. Daveski 12

    PB – I have no doubt given my personal values and beliefs agreeing with you the that the guy is an idiot.

    However, in other sectors of society (including many core Labour voters) he would be seen as being too liberal!

    The point many have made is don’t use this type of crap scenario to score petty politic points. In fact, I think it scores an own goal 🙂

    But yes, I think the guy is an idiot 🙂

  13. Paul 13

    I’m just completely confused by the use of the phrase “was an ex-lesbian” and why he thinks that’s relevent ….

  14. Scribe 14

    Paul,

    I’m just completely confused by the use of the phrase “was an ex-lesbian’ and why he thinks that’s relevent

    It’s probably said to support his claim that sexual preference is a choice that can be changed, rather than something innate, like being a redhead, that can’t be changed.

  15. Dom 15

    Yes, and we gays are to blame for everything from the hole in the ozone layer to the Wall St crash.

    Look, there are stupid views over homosexuality across all parties so you can’t blame National for this but you can blame them for not keeping a lid on it – Labour has been good at reining in their moral conservatives – Key needs to do the same…

    BTW, our family lived not far from Venn Young’s house in Hawera back in the 1980s. If this is the same guy I remember (he’s 10 years older than me) he was a tosser to one of my sisters at school.

  16. Scribe 16

    Dom,

    Look, there are stupid views over homosexuality across all parties so you can’t blame National for this but you can blame them for not keeping a lid on it – Labour has been good at reining in their moral conservatives – Key needs to do the same

    Thanks for proving the point I made above about selective tolerance.

    The prosecution rests.

  17. Tim Ellis 17

    Jonathan Young’s views are in line with a large proportion of New Zealanders. Don’t they have a right to have their views expressed as well? [of course he has the right to express his opinions, just as Dancer and the rest of us have the right to express how appalling we find them and how we think they make him unsuitable for a role as MP and cast doubts upon the leadership of his party. The right to free speech is not a right to not be criticised for what you say. SP]

    It seems to me that the greater hazard is telling people how they must view the world. Apparently John Key should be embarrassed for not actively opposing sporting contacts with South Africa, despite many people at the time actively encouraging it.

    There are many conservative Muslims in New Zealand who have very different views about society than the Rainbow Labour faction. Are we supposed to ignore that Mr Choudhary is a Labour MP?

    Or is it only the Right who is supposed to be embarrassed by its bigots?

  18. Dom 18

    Scribe – you can’t rest – you haven’t actually made a coherent point.

    Choudhary voted for civil unions Tim, choose another example.

  19. Tim Ellis 19

    SP, as a courtesy, it would be helpful if you add a separate comment rather than adding rebuttal into the middle of my comment, otherwise I don’t get to see that there are comments on it.

    You may have missed that Ashraf Choudhary has said that he believes the Koran is correct to advocate stoning of homosexuals and adulterers.

    Dom, Choudhary only swung in behind the Civil Unions Bill following pressure from fellow Labour MPs. It clearly isn’t his private view. He also abstained on prostitution law reform.

    There are many NZ First MPs who voted against many liberal causes. That doesn’t appear to be a barrier to them being joined at the hip to the Labour Party in government. Winston Peters voted against civil unions, prostitution reform, and the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. There seems to be one rule for Winston, and another rule for National candidates.

  20. Scribe 20

    Dom,

    You want moral conservatives to be reined in and not say what they think. And you’ve lauded Helen Clark for doing so.

  21. higherstandard 21

    Aha Dom I always thought that the CFC effect on the ozone layer was a bit of a stretch, don’t let Eve know that the economic crash is a gay plot she’ll be crestfallen. 🙂

    Were you present on the grassy knoll as well ?

  22. Rex Widerstrom 22

    Yes HS, homosexuals were present on the grassy knoll. Oswald (well known for having hardline Soviet views which included, of course, hostility toward homosexuality) was nobly trying to stop all the buttsecs when the rifle misfired. Three times.

    (Well it makes as much sense as all the other JFK conspiracy theories out there) 😀

    Back on topic:

    Kudos to Young for forthrightly and openly stating his views and beliefs so voters can judge him accordingly.

    If I were in New Plymouth… I’d have taken a wrong turning and would be looking desperately for the signs back to SH1 before I heard the sounds of banjos… 😀

    Sorry, I’ll try that again…

    If I were in New Plymouth I’d have just decided not to vote for him on the basis of those opinions, but I’d be thankful to the man for expressing them rather than trying to hide behind a thin veil of pseudo-liberalism and then letting loose with his archaic morals once elected as others have done.

    I wonder if those who are carping that he should shut up would prefer that alternative?

  23. Weather Eye Of The North 23

    The bigoted religiosity of Mr Young and his ilk insists that homosexuality is simply a choice, an outrageous choice, an abomination which responsible choice can wipe out completely presumably.

    There’s no question of fundamental, in-your-sexual-bones-difference. It’s simply a matter of corrupt choice.

    OBVIOUSLY, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A DAY IN MY LIFE WHEN I MADE THE CORRUPT CHOICE TO BE HOMOSEXUAL RATHER THAN HETEROSEXUAL. Can’t actually remember it I have to say but it must have been around puberty I guess.

    So, adopting your approach Mr Young and rejecting as you do fundamental difference, I now ask you to share with me THE DAY YOU MADE THE RESPONSIBLE CHOICE TO BE HETEROSEXUAL RATHER THAN HOMOSEXUAL (presuming that indeed you did choose the former).

    That foolish, bigoted man Phil Raffills (God rest his soul), one time senior educator principal of Avondale College, used to espouse the same rubbish. And was then seriously embarrassed when a former head prefect of his choosing publicly acknowledged that he was and continued to be gay, viz. had made the “corrupt” choice.

  24. insider 24

    I think I might be even more embarassed by a PM saying that her opponent had had a tantrum and nearly cried…very sad piece of sour grapes driven damage control. She expected to work him over and even the Standard writers (happy Lynn?) agree he at least equalled her.

    From the NZH

    Helen Clark laid into National leader John Key’s performance in last night’s head to head debate today saying it was lucky he didn’t cry and accusing him of having a tantrum.

    “The fact he didn’t burst out crying on the set probably counted for him,” she said during a Radio Live question and answer session this morning.

    Later in the day she didn’t resile from her criticism telling reporters that expectations around Mr Key’s performance before the debate were low and; “the fact he didn’t collapse with a stress attack on the set probably gave him marks”.

    Maybe she needs to listen to Irish Bill a bit more on taking PR advice. This surely is not part of the plan?

  25. Tom Barker 26

    Since the pitiful Mr Young’s family connections have been brought up, it’s worth noting that he’s also the brother of veteran Herald political journo Audrey Young, whose paper is staunchly pro-National but who has been known to demonstrate some independence of thought in the past. Some fiery debates around the Young family’s kitchen table in the past, perhaps?

  26. randal 27

    its obvious that natoinal had a whole gang of shills ready to phone in!
    even twiedmeonions had the pm ahead until they rallied the troops. yes indeedy!

  27. insider 28

    Having listened to these bits from HC that I mentioned above re sour grapes, I’m happy to admit I think it reads a lot worse than it actually sounded and note I read it before I heard it.

  28. Dom 29

    No, I was not on the grassy knoll (I’m too young for that). But you can blame 9/11 on me. And the All Blacks failures at the World Cup. And the popularity of the Macarena a decade or so ago. 🙂

    Scribe – I don’t see a problem with reining in this sort of hate speech. Yep, that’s what it is. This ‘choice’ view makes gays seem unnatural – and that leads to bigotry and violence. Happy for all politicians across the political landscape with these sort of archaic views to keep their traps shut.

  29. Pascal's bookie 30

    I must confess to not really understanding the argument made by scribe. I’ve seen variants on it all over the place. Ian Wishart’s a fan of it for example, which doesn’t bode well.

    Is the idea that only people who don’t oppose bigots can really be said to oppose bigotry? That seems too silly for words.

    Or is it that people who oppose bigotry, are really just being bigoted against ‘bigots’. But this means opposing bigotry is impossible doesn’t it? Or is it possible to oppose bigotry while tolerating the actions and policies of bigots? How?

    I’ve always suspected it’s just a cheap rhetorical trick rather than an actual argument, used where a person can’t defend a prejudice so tries to claim victim status.

    I’ll note that no one has even tried to defend the content of the National party candidate’s quotes. Not directly anyhow. We’ve seen the liberal wing of the National party do their usual apologetics.

    LibNats. Objectively pro-bigot. Seems harsh, but I’ll stop saying it when the LibNats actually stop defending bigots, and start saying we don’t want bigots to vote for our party. Rather than just pretending not to hear the dogwhistles.

  30. Scribe 31

    Dom,

    Hate speech? Nice try. This isn’t even in the ball park of hate speech — regardless of whether one agrees with what Young said or not.

    Pb,

    It’s the selective outrage that makes the position of some people inconsistent. Homosexuals and Muslims can’t be targeted; Catholics and rich people can be. One is either for free speech or against it. (That doesn’t mean people should be able to say whatever they like, but Young’s comment is tame. If he’d delved into some of the Fred Phelps vitriol, I’d be the first to condemn it.)

    As someone said above, Young has put his views out there, now the public can decide if they want to vote for him. That’s the beauty of democracy.

  31. The whole Ian Wishart critisizing someone for critisizing and so on and so fouth is a fiarly complicated argument, no grounding in logic. For the uninitiated a general rule to picking who’s in the right goes christens and national supporters right, most other people wrong.

  32. ropata 33

    @Scribe
    Great comments. Young has dared to express doubts about one of Labour’s sacred cows, so now he’s vilified as an heretic/bigot/hater. The gay lobby is increasingly shrill in its demands to indoctrinate pliable young minds, and on this thread we see a typical intimidation campaign.

    @Killinginthenameof
    You’re wrong.

  33. Dom 34

    Wow Scribe and ropata – both of you are practially gleeful.

    Being gay is is one of the only acceptable forms of discrimination. If Young made this comment about Maori he’d be vilified but it’s okay to put a boot into the gays.

    If you can’t see that this is a form of hate speech – that it makes it acceptable to treat me differently for something I was born with, to hate me (as so many Young types do) – then let’s agree to disagree. Until you’ve been bashed in the head for being a faggot I don’t think you will get it.

    If anyone is shrill it’s the anti-gay lobby – I mean, isn’t this the epitome of shrill – what is the problem with Young, why did he even have to go there? It’s a non-issue but totally designed to drum up hate and mistrust. Most gay people aren’t worrying about why they are gay – we’re just trying to pay our bills like the rest of you. Young and his ilk have an unnatural fascination with us – it’s actually creepy.

    ropata – indoctrination is the domain of religion (raised Catholic here) and the very fact you’ve gone there tells me all I need to know.

    As for me, this argument is the same one I’ve had all my life – as you can imagine it’s pretty boring to battle the same, old, tired, ignorant homophobic opinions.

  34. ropata 35

    @Dom
    I see the gay movement as essentially religious in nature and therefore I have natural reservations about its adherents’ desire to promote their questionable innovations to culture, lifestyle, fidelity and family, under the guise of secular education and endorsed by a secular state.

  35. ropata 36

    PS: I admire your ability to annex the moral high ground and pass judgment upon all who fail to conform to *your* opinions. I am all for human rights and freedom, this includes a little respect for other people’s space. I suppose it’s too much to ask from a political activist who is indulging in a bit of professional outrage.

  36. Pascal's bookie 37

    That’s just your own religious baggage talking ropata.

    This notion that secularism is a religion is simply ignorant. Sorry, but there is no other word for it. Secularism simply means acting without regard to religion. I assume your mechanic uses a secular approach to fixing your car. (If not, change mechanics 😉 )

    In the same way, the west has developed a tradition of secular government. This has been achieved through trial and error, by design and by accident, as a result, funnily enough, of darwinian processes. Non secular states struggle to survive these days, let alone prosper. We can talk about why this is some other time perhaps.

    One, (if not the), major reason for state secularism is to protect freedom of religion. This is really important to understand. Secularism is merely the absence of religious reasoning. It merely means that the state cannot do things for religious purposes. If you don’t have a secular state, you can’t have freedom of religion.

    This means that there are a whole bunch of things that are allowed, and some few things that are not.

    Allowed:

    – The religious can call the rest of us sinners, perverts whatever you like, citing religious beliefs. The state can’t. The state enforces secular law. Churches of whatever flavour can discriminate in their religious activities however they like, but not on the government’s dime.

    – Other people can respond by calling the religious names as well, idiots, morons, bigots, whatever they like, citing their own philosophies.

    Not allowed:

    – forcing religious beliefs/practices upon people by force of law. This includes laws discriminating against people because of their religious status.

    – Prohibiting people from practicing their private religion, as long as said religious practice does not break secular laws. No human sacrifice, religiously sanctioned theft etc.

    In this case, certain brands of religious belief hold that homosexuality is sinful. They are free to do so. They are free to say as much. They are not being oppressed by the fact they are being prohibited from forcing others to follow their beliefs however. They would only be being oppressed if they were prohibited from calling it sin, or forced to practice themselves what they believed to be sinful.

    As I said at the beginning these are traditions. Some of it is codified in laws. The religious, as part of their freedom are free to try and change that. Religious political parties are free to try and change the state to a religious one.

    The rest of us will try and stop them though, and history is well and truly on our side. Our way is simply better for everyone.

  37. ropata 38

    Thanks for the democracy lesson, but I’m not asking the state to enforce a particular religion. In fact the opinion of a large swathe of NZers remains that homosexuality is a disordered state. Embracing a gay identity is a choice fraught with peril, at least admit the sad statistics that belie the rosy PR campaigns.

    Speaking of history,

    No major world religion has ever endorsed homosexuality which can be openly practised only in peaceful, affluent and cosmopolitan times. Even in classical
    antiquity, homosexuality was controversial, and despite the exaggerated claims of today’s partisans, there was no place or period where it flourished in complete freedom from moral opprobrium. History shows that male homosexuality flourishes with urbanization, soon becomes predictably ritualized and always tends toward decadence. So my radical brothers and sisters should stop bitching about sincere Christians, Jews and Muslims who are merely exercising their constitutional right to free speech, and whose vast philosophical perspective easily triumphs over the provincialism and amorality of the gay world.

  38. Pascal's bookie 39

    Thanks for the democracy lesson

    Your welcome.

  39. Weather Eye Of The North 40

    You sure you’re not a hidden one there Ropata ?

    You’re just a bit too vile really not to ask.

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