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Response to Attack on Maxim

Press Release 7 July 2004

Gay Burials and Response to Young Labour President's Attack on Maxim.

Mr Michael Wood, president of Young Labour, has demonstrated his incompetence in his puerile attack on the Maxim Institute. He asks: "How are dead people supposed to send complaints to the Human Rights Commission?" after quoting the following passage from their Real Issues Bulletin (1 July), out of context. "One of the often-used examples of discrimination [regularly highlighted by gays] is the claimed inability of same-sex couples to be buried in the same plot next to their partner. No complaints have been received the HRC on this issue."

Michael Wood's smearing of Maxim is reproduced from his entry on the GayNZ.Com news report dated 3 July 2004 [see ref. 1] and he goes own to state:

"It is beyond me how anyone can take an organisation seriously when it comes out with such ludicrous statements. The people who work at Maxim demonstrate a regular disconnection from reality, but this really does take the cake. Wally of the Week award definitely goes to Maxim for this one."

Any reasonable and informed person would have to conclude that Michael Wood is the only wally disconnected from reality in this case.

The Maxim Real Issues Report was based on a response from the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to an Official Information Request, lodged by the Society, and supplied to Maxim and many other organisations. See ref. 2 or scoop website report:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0407/S00020.htm

One of the Society's formal questons put to the HRC was:

"How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in same-sex relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them by funeral directors etc. who have denied them the opportunity to be buried in the same plot next to their same-sex partner following their own death (married couples have these 'rights')?"

The HRC had no problem addressing the issue and responded: "We have not received any formal complaints regarding this issue."

Michael Wood can't handle this fact and resorts to ridicule attempting to marginalse Maxim. He essentially asks: How can someone who is denied an opportunity to be buried anywhere "following their own death" complain to anyone. They are dead. Dead people cannot complain.

The Society responds.

"Queer logic" at its very best is illustrated by the pathetic and ludicrous nonsense from the GayNZ.com article posted by Young Labour president Michael Wood - attacking Maxim & SPCS. The HRC had no problem understanding the question put to it by the Society. The grammatical construction in the question correctly links the phrase "following their own death" with the wish to be "buried in the same plot". It is NOT linked with the timing of the receipt of the complaint to suggest that the complaint is being made by a dead person!! The phrase "the opportunity to be buried" is forward looking in time. It is NOT in the past tense.

If same-sex couples were concerned that the law prohibited them both from making an arrangement, WHILE STILL LIVING, to be buried (in the future) in the same plot, surely at least one complaint would have been notified and registered with the HRC by now. None have been.

If a person in a same-sex relationship loses his or her partner and subsequent to the loss, seeks to ensure they can be buried alongside the deceased partner when they die; only to have this prohited by law at the time of application; then this could be viewed by "gays" as a case of unjust statutory discrimination. Not one case a such a complaint of discrimination has been lodged with the HRC!

One organisaton leader commenting to the Society over Wood's outburst has stated: "Michael Wood's statement is so absurd that one can only wonder if it's either a gag or something he wrote while under the influence?"

The Society has pointed out that gay-rights activists have mounted their case for relationship-recognition in law based on fictitious claims of statutory discrimination such as this one involving burial rights (see other examples below). The Society has made extensive enquiries with funeral directors and other agencies and found nothing to support the spurious claims of discrimination in law. Gay couples are able to make arrangements in their wills concerning burial arrangement.

Appendix

References:

[1] http://www.gaynz.com/news/default.asp?dismode=article&artid=1601

[2] Response from Human Rights Commission dated 30 June 2004. Thank-you for your email received by the Human Rights Commission on Monday 21, 2004, please find below the answers to the questions you raised¡¦.

1. How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in same-sex relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them in terms of their inability to gain state-sanctioned marriage status for their relationship(s)?

The Human Rights Commission has received three complaints regarding the inability of same-sex couples to marry. Two of these complaints have been formally notified and dealt with through the part 1(A) process.

2. Of these cases, if any, has/have the complainant(s) formally represented other individuals in other same-sex relationships, when bringing their own complaint(s) to the Commission - and how many?

The complainants represented themselves in these complaints.

3. How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in same-sex relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them in terms of their inability to gain legal recognition of their relationship (other than by way of marriage)?

We received five other complaints; One where same sex couples were denied next of kin status One where partners were denied a certificate of non-impediment enabling them to marry overseas Two complaints about the inability to adopt children in a same sex relationship as a result of the inability to marry One where the ability of a partner in a same sex relationship to record their name on their deceased partner¡¯s death certificate was impeded

4. Of these cases, if any, has/have the complainant(s) formally represented other individuals in other same-sex relationships, when bringing their complaint(s) - and how many?

The complainants represented themselves in these complaints

5. How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in same-sex relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them by funeral directors, morgue officials etc. who have denied them the opportunity to view their same-sex partner's corpse following death?

We have not received any formal complaints regarding this issue.

6. How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in heterosexual de facto relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them by funeral directors, morgue officials etc., on the basis of non-marital status; who have denied them the opportunity to view their same-sex partner's corpse following death?

We have not received any formal complaints regarding this issue.

7. How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in same-sex relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them by funeral directors etc. who have denied them the opportunity to be buried in the same plot next to their same-sex partner following their own death (married couples have these 'rights')?

We have not received any formal complaints regarding this issue.

8. How many formal complaints has the HRC received from individuals in heterosexual de facto relationships concerning claimed discrimination against them by funeral directors etc. who have denied them the opportunity to be buried in the same plot next to their same-sex partner following their own death?

We have not received any formal complaints regarding this issue.

9. Have any of the complaints w.r.t. questions 1-8, if any, been mediated or dealt with formally in any way by the HRC? If so, which category of complaint(s)?

The Human Rights Commission has attempted mediation in two complaints about the Marriage Act.

We trust that this information is of assistance to you. Should you require any further information, or have any further queries please do not hesitate to make contact.

Yours Sincerely, Gemma Barden Technical/Legal Assistant/Kaihautu Ritenga Ture Dispute Resolution Team Human Rights Commission / Te Kahui Tika Tangata P O Box 6751, Wellesley Street AUCKLAND

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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