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Bill seeks to define marriage for man and woman

Friday, 10 December 2004

Baldock Bill seeks to define marriage for man and woman

United Future's Larry Baldock said that his Member's Bill that would amend the Marriage Act to specify that marriage could only be between a man and a woman was even more vital after the passing of the Civil Union Bill yesterday.

"My Bill would also amend the Human Rights Act to allow the introduction of government policies that support marriage without them being derailed by accusations of unjustifiable discrimination," Mr Baldock said.

"I remain deeply concerned that the clauses in the Civil Union Bill allow for transfer between civil union and marriage that they will ultimately lead to a court determining that same-sex couples are entitled to marriage.

"It is therefore imperative that Parliament makes its intention clear by the amendments proposed in my Member's Bill," he said.

"And while the Human Rights Act does not allow for discrimination on the basis of marital status, it would be ridiculous to prohibit the Government from introducing pro-marriage policies because marriage is clearly of benefit to society as a whole, and Government ought to support it.

This was made clear even in the United Nations this week with the adoption of the Doha Declaration that stated in part that governments should:

12. "Uphold, preserve and defend the institution of marriage; 13. Take effective measures to strengthen the stability of marriage by, among other things, encouraging the full and equal partnership of husband and wife within a committed and enduring marital relationship. 14. Establish effective policies and practices to condemn and remedy abusive relationships within marriage and the family, including the establishment of public agencies to assist men, women, children and families in crisis."

"I will be calling on Parliament next week to support a motion to endorse the Doha Declaration to reassure the majority of New Zealanders that marriage is still of vital importance to this country."


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