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


PrideAlliance says CUB doesn't go far enough

PrideAlliance says CUB doesn't go far enough

While the Civil Union Bill due for its first reading this Thursday is an important step for New Zealand, it falls far short of what we should be expecting from a country that used to be a world leader on human rights .

"Retaining marriage as a legal option reserved exclusively for heterosexual couples simply isn't good enough," said PrideAlliance spokesperson Kelly Buchanan. "If marriage is a sacred institution which the state has no right to redefine, then it should not be a legal institution. Either open marriage to everyone, or remove its legal status and let churches decide for themselves whom they will allow to marry, and which marriages they will recognise as valid."

Internationally, a number of states and countries are extending the right to marry to same-sex couples, leaving New Zealand lagging behind. "It's a sad state of affairs for the first country to grant women the vote," said Ms Buchanan. The international status of civil unions is problematic; kiwis who have entered in to a civil union will not be entitled to the worldwide recognition enjoyed by married couples, and New Zealand itself will not have adequate provision for recognition of foreign civil unions.

Although lacking the full rights of marriage, Civil Unions will not be a genuine alternative to marriage either. "It's marriage with the serial numbers filed off, not the flexible relationship register we'd have liked to see. It would work as a replacement for marriage, but is quite superfluous as a parallel institution."

While PrideAlliance applauds equal treatment of same-sex and different-sex de facto relationships, we are concerned at the degree of legal recognition of de facto relationships in general. "The state should not be sticking its nose in to people's personal lives uninvited," said Ms Buchanan. Instead, the Civil Union Bill should have included a casual registration option for those who want the state to acknowledge their relationships, but aren't necessarily ready for the long term commitment of a full Civil Union or Marriage.

Nonetheless, the Civil Union and Omnibus Bills have our full support, as a major improvement on the status quo. It is disappointing that Labour is jeopardising the bills by treating them as conscience votes, rather than giving them the full backing of party policy as a basic human rights issue. The outspoken support given by the Greens is far more impressive.

Opposition to the bills consists mostly of horrified ranting about how recognition of same sex relationships will destroy the institution of marriage and cause the collapse of decent society. What difference the legal status of other people's relationships make to their own is not clearly explained. The bills are merely about recognition of relationships that already exist in society, and the only collapse they will cause is in acceptance of unjustified hatred and fear of a minority.

As for calls for Tim Barnett to step down as chair of the justice select committee, would anyone expect women to be excluded from chairing a committee on abortion, or Maori on treaty claims? Perhaps so, but any such suggestion would be met with the greatest derision from most kiwis.

© 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