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Maxim Institute - real issues - No. 115

Real issues. ============ this week: No. 115, 17 JUNE 2004

Contents: --------- * New Zealand must wake up to marriage

* Civil Union Bills will make marriage meaningless

* Shocking abortion statistics

* Launch of Repeal Week for prostitution referendum

* Southland Change Agents workshop - register now

New Zealand must wake up to marriage -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - A new book released by Maxim Institute reveals why we must try to re-establish the ideal of marriage in New Zealand. Waking Up To Marriage, by Maxim Director Bruce Logan, examines a multitude of statistics that document the deterioration of marriage and family since the 1960s.

We are the first generation in human history to decide that two parents are not necessary for the successful socialisation of the next generation, and we are reaping the consequences. The steady displacement of a marriage culture by one of divorce, cohabitation and unwed parenthood is creating terrible hardships for children.

On average, children from broken homes do worse than children with two parents in almost every possible way. New Zealand is conservatively spending $5.7 billion a year as a direct consequence of family breakdown, or more than $3000 per taxpayer. Additional economic costs include the impact on the criminal justice system, public health services, education, higher day-care subsidies, additional child-support collection costs, higher foster care and child protection service costs, and lost production.

In looking for answers, the book concludes that a full understanding of the "genius" of marriage lies at the heart of the solution. Marriage is still popular in New Zealand-80 percent of couples are married, compared with all other forms of partnership. For the well-being of New Zealand society, the benefits of marriage and marital permanence must be brought to centre stage in politics and culture again.

A longer article by Bruce Logan exploring the impact of marriage breakdown on children is at: http://www.maxim.org.nz/ri/childrejection.html

To find out more about the book and to order a copy visit: www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/publication_page/wakingsummary.html

Discuss this article in our on-line discussion forum: http://www.maxim.org.nz/discuss/?topic=115.1

Civil Union Bills will make marriage meaningless -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - The two Civil Union Bills will be tabled next Monday and voted on by Parliament for the first time next Thursday, 24 June. Together these bills will provide de facto and same-sex couples with the same privileges and responsibilities of marriage, making marriage meaningless. Apart from the fact that the word "marriage" will refer only to a man and woman, there will be no other legal difference between a marriage and a civil union.

The processes and formalities surrounding 'Civil Unions' will be virtually identical to marriage. The explanatory note says, "The provisions in the Bill are based on the provisions for marriage but have been modernised to reflect current law, policy and practice."

Further illustrating the interchangeable nature of the two, a clause in the Bill will allow married couples to convert their marriage to a civil union, and heterosexual couples in a civil union to convert to marriage. In the Netherlands however, two years after the introduction of a similar civil union registration, the law changed to allow same-sex marriage.

The official title of the Omnibus Bill has changed three times and is now called the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill. This bill will amend 1000 clauses in around 125 Acts, to confer all the rights and responsibilities of marriage to civil unions and de-facto relationships. It will not be necessary for couples to register as a civil union in order to gain the benefits of marriage.

As the preamble says, "The Bill amends legislation to ensure laws are relationship-neutral, and that they apply equally to married, civil union and de-facto relationships of different and same-sex couples." The purpose is clear - to engineer equality despite the fact that these relationships are different. Marriage will no longer be of any special consequence in law with the societal implications being irrelevant.

Treating all relationships the same as marriage in law ignores the unique public benefits marriage provides. Both pieces of legislation are government bills, although they are expected to be conscience votes. We encourage you to contact your MP to express your concerns before they vote next Thursday, 24th June.

More information on the two Civil Union Bills is available on our website including: an article by Amanda McGrail published in the NZ Herald today; a pre-released article from Maxim's winter Evidence journal; and a media release on the Bills. To view them please visit: http://www.maxim.org.nz/civilunions.html

To sign up to the civil unions alert group, send a blank email to civilunions@maxim.org.nz

Discuss this article in our on-line discussion forum: http://www.maxim.org.nz/discuss/?topic=115.2

Shocking abortion statistics -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Abortion statistics released this week are a shocking indictment on the value we now place on children. Last year, 18,511 children were aborted, an increase of 6.5 percent on the previous year's record, and the third-highest rate in the Western World.

Nearly a third of those abortions were carried out on women aged 20-24 years old. Among women in this age group, there are 2 abortions for every 5 births. Asian women were disproportionately represented in the figures. They accounted for 19 percent of all abortions, yet they make up only around 7 percent of the female population.

Most shocking of all, 89 young girls between the ages of 11 and 14 had abortions. As the law currently stands, they could all have had abortions without their parents being aware. The law is carried over in the Care of Children Bill currently before Parliament, and many groups - including Maxim - believe it is imperative to bring in some form of parental notification and consent.

Since abortion was legalised in the late 1970s, 296,885 New Zealand children (a staggering 9,900 classrooms of 30 children) have been 'terminated'. This is the real reason schools are being closed, and that our fertility rate has plummeted below replacement level.

Discuss this article in our on-line discussion forum: http://www.maxim.org.nz/discuss/?topic=115.3

Launch of Repeal Week for prostitution referendum -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - The first anniversary of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (PRA) is a timely chance to highlight the need for a referendum to ask New Zealand voters: "Should the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 be repealed?" To raise the profile of the referendum petition and make sure New Zealanders know what is happening to our most vulnerable women and children, Repeal Week is being launched this Sunday at events in Auckland and Christchurch. For more information on Repeal Week and the referendum visit: www.stoptheabuse.org.nz

Discuss this article in our on-line discussion forum: http://www.maxim.org.nz/discuss/?topic=115.4

Southland Change Agent Workshops - next weekend -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Workshops will be held in Gore and Invercargill next weekend to inform local residents on the Civil Union Bills (same-sex marriage), education and prostitution. Practical tips, including how to write effective letters and understanding the parliamentary process, will equip you to engage effectively on these issues. For details of their times and venues visit www.maxim.org.nz/ca/deep_south.html

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK - Albert Einstein -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained."

ENDS

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