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An open letter to MP Tim Barnett

An open letter to MP Tim Barnett from The Campaign Against Civil Unions

January 12, 2005

Dear Mr Barnett,

I would like you to clarify something for us please. You have raised the issue of an eleven year-old girl writing to the select committee considering the CUB and saying in her submission that homosexuals were worthy of death.

Nick Venter on the Stuff website wrote that you, “read a submission [in Parliament] from an 11-year-old girl characterising homosexuals as ‘violent, haters of God, disobedient, unforgiving, unloving, backbiters and whisperers ... worthy of death’”. I am not sure whether you recognised it, but these words come directly from the Bible (Romans 1:30-32). Speaking of homosexuals, the Apostle Paul does indeed write:

“ And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them ”.

Did you recognise at the time you criticised the girl’s submission that her words came from the Bible?

Can you tell us, in light of your accusation against this young girl, whether you consider it wrong to quote the Bible or these verses in the Bible, as legitimate input in a submission to parliament on proposed legislation that is to voted on by MPs as a matter of conscience?

Are you opposed to such statements from the Bible being used in public and in such a submission and if so why? We would like to know this in anticipation of a possible debate over “hate speech” or anti-vilification law which we understand is currently being considered by a select committee.

Kind Regards,
Garnet Milne (spokesman)


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