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


Marriage Bill needed to codify common law


22 July 2005

Marriage Bill needed to codify common law

“Politicians will have the opportunity to decide what marriage means in New Zealand when they vote on the Marriage Amendment Bill on Wednesday next week”, says Maxim Institute Policy Manager, Nicki Taylor.

“The Marriage Amendment Bill codifies in the Marriage Act what the Courts have always upheld, and what society knows marriage to be; a public commitment between one man and one woman”, says Nicki Taylor.

“The Prime Minister has said that the Labour Party will not support the Bill because it is a waste of Parliament’s time to codify common law. However, this is a u-turn from the position Labour took when it came to the Seabed and Foreshore legislation”, says Nicki Taylor.

“Parliament wasted no time in passing the Seabed and Foreshore Act to codify common law. When justifying the passing of this Act, Dr Cullen said ‘all the legislation does is codify into statute existing common law rights. Nothing more, nothing less’. How is this different from the Marriage Amendment Bill?”, asks Taylor.

“If Parliament does not take this step, they are sending a clear message that they want to leave it open to the Courts to decide what marriage is. The Ministry of Justice have recognised that the Courts may redefine marriage in the near future, if Parliament does not pass this Bill. In recent advice on this Bill, they say;

“We acknowledge that in recent years there have been a number of overseas judgments that have questioned the common law definition of marriage…and that the Quilter decision (which set out the common law position that marriage in New Zealand was between a man and a woman) may be reconsidered in light of these decisions.”

“In supporting the Marriage Amendment Bill, MPs are acknowledging that marriage should be defined by Parliament, not the Courts. It is vital that Parliament exercise their authority to protect marriage from being redefined—in particular by unelected judges,” says Nicki Taylor.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news