Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Civil unions: it's about tolerance

06 December, 2004 Media Statement

Civil unions: it's about tolerance

Civil unions do not undermine anyone's rights and it's time for those against the Bill to acknowledge their opposition is to the people who would benefit from civil unions and not the legislation itself, says Associate Justice Minister David Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope was urging detractors of the Civil Union Bill to show some of the tolerance that underpins the teachings of the moral and religious organisations those opposed to the Bill seemed to associate themselves with.

"I have asked, and will continue to ask, how removing discrimination against people who do not wish to marry, or who cannot marry, impacts on the daily lives of anyone else," says Mr Benson-Pope.

"Those who have enjoyed the status and legal recognition of marriage have nothing to be concerned about from others having access to civil unions – with the rights, responsibilities and recognition that spring from that.

"The Marriage Act remains unchanged by civil unions. Marriage is to remain solely available to a man and a woman. Marriage is a very old and established legal, cultural and religious institution. Civil unions are a new legal and social institution."

Mr Benson-Pope says it was clear from the all-party Justice and Electoral Select Committee report back that the arguments being lodged against civil unions had little to do with the Bill itself and in most instances were based on emotion and not fact.

"In recent days we have seen the debate take on a far nastier tone. The language of 'us' and 'them' has started characterising people who might benefit from civil unions as vile, repugnant and even evil.

"I think most reasonable New Zealanders reject that rhetoric. It has no place in an important and reasoned debate and it has no place in a tolerant society. Those opposed to the Bill need to start engaging on the issues and put their prejudice aside."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news