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Committee Should Hear All Submissions on Marriage Bill

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MEDIA RELEASE

16 November 2012

Committee Should Hear All Submissions on Marriage Bill

Family First NZ says that all organisations, families and individuals who have requested to make oral submissions on the Marriage Amendment Bill should be heard by the Select Committee because of the significance and potential effects of the proposed law change.

"Our understanding is that the Select Committee will refuse to hear as many as 5,000 submitters who wish to be heard - either because they are on the form letters which the supporters of the bill promoted, or because the submitters cover similar points," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ and coordinator of the Protect Marriage campaign.

"The fact that a record 21,000 submissions have been received on this bill shows just how important this issue is to so many people. It is a major change to a cultural institution and foundation of our society, and it is not acceptable for the Select Committee to pick and choose which submissions it will and won't hear."

"In a healthy democracy, the people are entitled to speak and both sides of this debate deserve to be heard in full. It should not be rushed and democracy should not be denied just because of a pre-determined reporting date which fails to recognise the weight of the issue," says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First rejects any attempt to restrict oral submissions from either side of the debate on this significant proposed law change, and has written to the chairperson Ruth Dyson and members of the Government Administration Committee requesting that they hear all submitters who wish to be heard.

"Such a major change should not be rushed or its effect minimised. We must fully debate this significant bill."

ENDS



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