New Zealand Creationist Politician Now Supports Same-Sex Marriage

Just a week ago, John Banks was known to me only as New Zealand’s Creationism-believing Associate Education Minister.

John Banks (Getty Images)

But there’s reason to applaud him this week. There’s a marriage equality bill going through the NZ Parliament and Banks has voiced his enthusiastic support for it!

When asked why he was supporting the bill, he said “because I am”.

YEAH!!!… I mean, ok, he’s not all that excited for it, it seems, but that’s hardly a problem. He’s come around to the right side in an unbelievable showing of cognitive dissonance. Good for him!

(Thanks to Nick for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Stephen Heise

    He is supporting “the first reading” which will allow the bill to progress to select committee stage – he has not yet made a commitment to the final vote which determine if the bill will become law. His vote is effectively saying, “this is worthy of debate”, which is a huge step in the right direction. We will have to wait and see what happens at the final vote.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Warner/620045191 Nick Warner

      Agreed it’s not worth throwing a party about yet but it’s still a pretty encouraging announcement when he’s been an opponent of gay rights in the past. 

      While my opinion on him really has no where to go but up from it’s current position, he has won a little more esteem in my eyes with this announcement. 

      • Liam O’Boyle

        Although a little more esteem than nothing is still very little ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/whoreslie joe smith

    Conservatives really should support “traditional” marriage for gay people; you’d think they’d be in favour of folks settling down and living a more milquetoast life as opposed to whatever they think gays are doing instead (other than recruiting).

    • kagekiri

      Aren’t they convinced that settling down and having/adopting kids IS recruiting? That’s part of the supposed “gay agenda”, isn’t it?

    • Michael

      This is actually the exact reason given for British Conservative Eric Pickles for why he’s changed his mind and stopped  opposing gay marriage. He’s seen the “stability” it offers to the individuals involved and thus to their communities.

  • Alchemist

    And there you have it. Banksy will always back pedal to save his career. Bloody good thing too, we need as many back sliding conservative in our parliament as we can get.

  • Sftggg

    I like this guy. he seems to be able to differentiate personal belife from civic duty.

    • Coyotenose

       Check out the first link though. His quote implies that the only reason he wouldn’t consider trying to inject Creationism into education is that he couldn’t get away with it.

  • http://philosophicalzombie.net/ Carl

     I’m from New Zealand, and I have no idea what’s going on with this guy. He’s undoubtedly an old-school redneck conservative, but he’s also the current leader of the ACT party, which likes to think of themselves as representing the “libertarian” sector (ie. rich, white men who don’t like to share). Since ACT is on life-support as far as political survival goes, I can’t help but think that the party has insisted that he show support to this bill to help improve their image as the party of individual freedom.

    Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s a cynical political play rather than any worthy principle on Banks’ part.

  • SM

    The change of heart is almost certainly because the Youth wing of his party have made their feelings known to him. He needs their support so he’s playing along. Whether he follows it through to the final vote will be interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice per day…. but it doesnt change the fact the clock is still stopped.

  • Botti

    Peoples views can change over time and I suspect that aside from political reasons that is the case with Banks:

    The comments John Banks made in 1986 will always remain on the record. But his views have changed over time – this is not a sudden about-face, but a journey.

    When John was an MP in the 1990s, one of the researchers who was a reasonably good mate of his was Paul Sherriff. Paul happened to also win Mr Gay Wellington. Now I’m not arguing the “he has black friends so is not racist” card, but am pointing out that even in the 1990s his views were not the same as in 1986. Also he could seperate out his views on the issue, from how he treats individuals.

    When he was Mayor of Auckland, his Chief of Staff was Stephen Rainbow. This is a job appointed by the Mayor himself. Stephen is gay, and John and Stephen had an excellent friendship and working relationship. Through Stephen, he saw a couple in a loving stable and happy same sex relationship.”

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/08/defending_banksie.html


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