INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bradford urges courage in face of 'moral minority'

Published: Tue 24 Jun 2003 11:43 AM
Bradford urges courage in face of 'moral minority'
Green MP Sue Bradford today called on MPs to show the courage of their convictions to support the Prostitution Reform Bill despite a widespread campaign of scare mongering by fundamentalist organisations.
"There has been a concerted campaign of misinformation which has been deliberately circulated by the likes of United Future, fundamentalist churches and the Maxim Institute," said Ms Bradford, the Green spokesperson for Social Services.
"Common sense and rationality need to return to this debate, not the outlandish claims of 'a brothel on every corner' put forward by groups with outdated and extreme views on social engineering.
"A lot of it simply isn't true. I am not surprised that some members of the public might get upset about what they're hearing.
"I remind MPs that some groups have the ability to mobilise their members to campaign against any attempts to make the law fairer, whereas the wider public generally support the intentions of the Prostitution Reform Bill."
Ms Bradford encouraged the ACT party members to not buckle under to the sustained criticism by social conservatives.
"I can't understand how ACT can continue to support a situation that criminalises acts between consenting adults over the age of 18.
"The whole point of this bill is to get the state out of the bedroom. If they're going to stay in line with their principle of taking government out of people's lives, how can they not support this bill?
Ms Bradford, one of the few MPs to have sat through all phases of the Select Committee dealing with the bill, rejected returning the Bill to the Committee as it would not add anything of substance to the testimonies from proponents, opponents and experts regarding liberalisation of the law.
She also warned MPs not to repeat the experience of opponents of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.
"I gather that some MPs who opposed the Homosexual Law Reform Bill at the time later felt embarrassed to have buckled under to fundamentalist views based not on fact, but on fear of progress," said Ms Bradford.

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