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New Marriage Legislation Needed

9th December 2004

New Marriage Legislation Needed

Christian Heritage NZ leader Ewen McQueen said the passing of the Civil Union Bill now meant new legislation was required to protect and affirm traditional marriage. He said the same flawed anti-discrimination logic that was used to promote the Civil Union Bill would now be used to press for full recognition of homosexual relationships as marriage. Mr McQueen stated,

“ It is likely that our new Supreme Court will be asked to declare that the Civil Union legislation is discriminatory because it allows heterosexual couples to transfer their civil union to a marriage, but not those in homosexual relationships. Given that the Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation” it is hard to see how the Court will be able to resist this argument. The almost identical legal nature of a civil union and marriage would make it even more difficult for the judges to maintain the traditional understanding of marriage. ”

In view of this the Christian Heritage NZ leader said new legislation was required that would firstly allow the Government to discriminate in favour of marriage in spite of the Human Rights Act, and secondly clearly specify that marriage was to be reserved for a relationship between a man and a woman. He said CHNZ would seek to introduce such legislation. Mr McQueen noted,

“ Christian Heritage NZ will make one of its top priorities the introduction of an Affirming Marriage Act that will allow public policy to positively discriminate in favour of marriage as it has always been understood. The Affirming Marriage Act will explicitly state that its provisions take precedence over the Human Rights Act so there will be no room for any doubt on the matter.

CHNZ will also introduce a Definition of Marriage Act that will plainly define marriage as an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman with the expectation of faithful lifelong commitment.

This will not only clearly differentiate marriage, but will also start the process of putting some legal substance back into an institution that has been progressively undermined by legislative changes over the last three decades.”

Mr McQueen went on to say that legal initiatives to define marriage in a traditional sense were a prominent part of the recent US elections and were strongly endorsed by voters in every State where they were put to a referendum. Australia also this year amended its Marriage Act to ensure it could be applied only to relationships between a man and a woman.

ENDS

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