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Media Ignores 95% Thumbs Down for Civil Union Bill

17 September 2004

Media Ignores 95% Thumbs Down for Civil Union Bill

The massive and overwhelming opposition to the Civil Unions Bill evidenced by the 5,892 submissions (95% of total) expressing opposition that have been received by the select committee considering it, has been ignored by the media. The sheer numbers of submissions prove that these Bills are highly controversial. The media’s silence warrants an explanation from the media. Could it be that the media has been shocked into silence, having assumed all along, quite incorrectly, that the vast majority of New Zealanders support the Civil Union Bill? The Society believes that the media has completely underestimated the strength of opposition to the Bills.

Mr Tim Barnett, the openly gay MP who chairs the Justice and Electoral Committee that is hearing submissions on the Civil Unions Bill and the accompanying Relationships (Statutory References) Bill, told Parliament on Tuesday 14 September that the committee had received 6,170 submissions. Mr Murray Smith, a member of the committee, issued a press release later that day stating that the committee had received 5892 (95%) submissions opposed to the Civil Union Bill, noting that “the vast majority” also opposed the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill.

Smith noted: “The key theme of the submissions was that marriage between a man and a woman was a fundamental institution in New Zealand society which needed to be protected and nurtured but that the Bill undermined marriage and would significantly weaken our society.”

The Society is not at all surprised that a mere 278 submissions (5%) were received from members of the public supporting the Civil Union Bill, despite the massive and lengthy campaign waged by the gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual community (GLTB) to encourage its ‘members’ and supporters to make submissions.

The Society submits that the tiny minority driving this Bill (homosexuals and lesbians) plus their supporters constitute less than 5% of the population. The repeated claims the GLTB community make, that tens of thousands of heterosexual persons living in de facto relationships support Civil Union Bill and its accompanying Bill, appear to be fanciful.


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