Up Front by Emma Hart


The Up-Front Guides: The Weasel Translator

As you all know by now, Louisa Wall's marriage equality bill has been pulled from the ballot. And I guess you've all been waiting in breathless anticipation to find out how I feel about it. 

Yeah. Me and and Colin Craig: we're not going to surprise you with our views on gay marriage. 

I honestly think this is going to be a bit less shitty than Civil Unions, just as Civil Unions was a bit less shitty than Homosexual Law Reform. The tide of public opinion has turned, and most politicians recognise that. Yes, we're going to cop some abuse as hardened bigots panic at the realisation that their world is coming apart in a sea of general tolerance and not seeing what all the fuss is about. We need to take care of each other in the face of the verbal and sometimes physical violence their terror is going to engender. 

But if you've seen this, or read the quotes, you might realise, as I have, what we're mostly going to see this time around: barefaced weaselling. Stand up Brendan Horan and Tony Ryall: you're distinguished by now being less deserving of my respect than Richard Prosser. 

With all the desperate squirmy fourth-form "can't remember how I feel about a major social issue" bullshit going on, I can see how it might be hard to work out how individual MPs really feel. Luckily, we live in the internet age, and there are tools available to help. 

Marriage Equality has a list of MPs and their stated positions on same-sex marriage. The numbers at the top show you how close we are to tipping this, and how many MPs are strangely undeclared still. In my native electorate, the choice between Ruth Dyson (pro) and David Carter (still banging the rocks together) is pretty stark. Right now, though, I'm living in Christchurch Central, and Nicky Wagner is down as "unknown". So I'll be writing her a letter and asking. And when I have an answer, I'll tell Marriage Equality so they can update their list. 

If an MP's been around for a while, you could also use this site to correlate their votes on Civil Unions and the Marriage (Gender Clarification) bills, which should give you their attitude to marriage equality. Oh look, there's Nicky Wagner. Goodness. 

It may be, though, that when you go to the effort of asking, all you get back is purest weasel. So I've provided a little Weasel to English translation below.


"In the big picture, it's not that important... We've been focused on the broader economy."

 - "I can only fuck up one thing at a time."


"I don't know what's in the bill."

 - "Nobody's read it to me yet."


"I thought they could, quite honestly."

 - "Fuck, don't ask me, I don't even know where I live."


"I've not given it any thought."

 - "I just lied right to your face."


"It's not exactly the biggest issue of the day."

 - "I'm straight. My family are straight, all my friends are straight,  my colleagues are- wait, what?"


"I'll support the bill through to its first reading."

 - "I can do maths. This is going to pass without me. If I oppose it (because, EW), I'll look like a dick for nothing. But also, I can do maths. By the time this becomes law, I'll have retired to the place on Maui.

 "I will canvass the views of my constituents."

 - "I have no conscience of my own, so I'll be borrowing someone else's."


"I'm too busy solving Treaty grievances."

 - "Get back to me in another hundred and sixty years."


"I think marriage is a heterosexual institution."

 - "And that big yellow thing... that's a bus, right?"

"I'm not taking a position at this stage."

 - "Someone will tell me what to do."


*fleeing in the face of the question "Do you support gay marriage or not?"*

 - "I'm not going to lie to your face. Bye."


Please feel to contribute your own translations, or Weasel for translation, in the comments.

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