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True intention of Civil Union Bill revealed

Richard Worth - Shadow Minister for Justice

06 December 2004

True intention of Civil Union Bill revealed

"The Prime Minister's dismissal of 'civil relationships' as a workable alternative to the Civil Union Bill reveals the government's intention all along has been to introduce same-sex marriage", says National Justice Spokesman Richard Worth.

Mr Worth says he is disappointed that the Prime Minister has dismissed his amendment to the Civil Union Bill before she has read and considered it.

"The government has said from the outset that the Civil Union Bill is about recognition and protection of committed relationships. The proposed amendment makes the Civil Union Bill more inclusive and ensures greater legal certainty for key issues such as next-of-kin."

"I find it difficult to believe the government would exclude loving and committed relationships from legal recognition and protection simply because they are not sexual", Mr Worth says.

Richard Worth says "if the government is not trying to usher in same-sex marriage through the back door, they will be willing to vote for 'civil relationships' as it does not imitate marriage, yet still grants same-sex and de facto couples legal registration of their relationship", says Mr Worth.

As a member of the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Bills, I am in a good position to appreciate the valid concerns on both sides of the debate", says Mr Worth.

"I trust that the Prime Minister and her colleagues will now take time to read the amendment and work with me to ensure that New Zealand gets honest and workable laws to protect a wider number of people", say Mr Worth.

* Richard Worth has introduced an amendment to the Civil Union Bill, called the 'Civil Relationship Bill'. This removes the marriage-like features of the Civil Union Bill, makes a registration system available to more relationships (for example family and friends) and provides legal certainty on the key issue of next-of-kin. it also provides for a referendum on the issue. It is expected that the amendment will be voted on this Wednesday.

ENDS

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