Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Civil Unions – Escape From Religion, Or Commitment

Civil Unions – Escape From Religion, Or Commitment?

The Prime Minister says the Civil Unions Bill is needed to escape the religious connotations associated with marriage1. However Christian Heritage NZ leader Ewen McQueen said today that marriage in New Zealand was already a civil institution and in fact legally it always has been. He pointed out that under the Marriage Act 1955 there is no requirement to be married in a church and marriage celebrants do not have to be ministers. And where marriages are held in churches the officiating minister is for the purposes of the law, simply seen as an official of the office of Births Deaths & Marriages. Mr McQueen stated,

“To say the Civil Unions Bill is necessary to create a new non-religious form of relationship is simply not true. New Zealanders already have the free choice as to whether their marriage involves a religious aspect or is purely a civil affair. The Civil Unions Bill is completely unnecessary because we already have an officially recognised civil union – it’s called marriage ! “

The CHNZ leader said that while for many couples marriage did not necessarily have any religious associations, the institution carried deep-seated cultural connotations of commitment and this was recognised by all New Zealanders. In contrast, co-habitation was generally recognised as not carrying the same degree of commitment. Mr McQueen said,

“Regardless of their faith position, most people acknowledge that marriage defines a higher level of commitment. In our society it is predominantly this aspect of marriage that sets it apart from simply living together. Hence in-as-much as the Civil Unions Bill and the associated Relationships (Statutory References) Bill set out to recognise other forms of relationship, they are actually not about escaping religion, but rather about escaping commitment.”

McQueen said these bills represented another major step in the ongoing process of casualising human relationships in our society. He stated

“This is opposite of what New Zealand children need. The strength of family life in our nation is directly related to the strength of commitment between parents. As such, public policy should be doing everything possible to encourage formal lifelong commitment between couples. That means affirming marriage because it is marriage that carries these expectations – not the alternatives that these Bills will recognise and encourage.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election