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

 


Labour MP’s ‘Legally Wrong’ on Effects of Marriage Bill

MEDIA RELEASE
20 November 2012
Labour MP’s ‘Legally Wrong’ on Effects of Marriage Bill
Family First NZ has released a legal opinion which calls into question the validity of the assurances given in Parliament during the 1st Reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill by the Bill’s author Louisa Wall, and also points out the legal incorrectness of statements made to a newspaper by Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General Charles Chauvel.

An initial legal opinion (dated 27 Aug 2012) obtained by Family First NZ from Barrister Ian Bassett before the 1st Reading in Parliament stated that marriage celebrants (including church ministers) exercising their public function will be in breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and acting unlawfully if they refuse to perform their public function as marriage celebrants by reason of the same sex of a couple seeking to be married.

On 29 August 2012 in Parliament during the 1st Reading of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, Louisa Wall stated that the Bill did not require any person or church to carry out a marriage if it does not fit with the beliefs of the celebrant or the religious interpretation a church has.

“The New Zealand Law Society submission, along with our latest legal opinion (dated 19 Nov 2012) has now questioned the validity of that assurance given by Louisa Wall in her speech in Parliament,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General Charles Chauvel also accused Family First NZ of ‘bearing false witness’ and ‘scaremongering’ when we raised concerns about the effect of the Bill, but our updated legal opinion (dated 19 Nov 2012) has labeled Chauvel’s statements about the effects of the Bill as ‘legally incorrect‘, ‘imprecise’ and confusing some of the issues,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It appears Louisa Wall and Charles Chauvel misunderstand the legal implications of the Bill. The public and other politicians are not hearing the full story. The bill should be voted down. The social and legal ramifications are too great.”

Key Points of Legal Opinion - dated 19 November 2012
• s29 of the Marriage Act 1955 does not authorise a marriage celebrant (including a church minister who is a celebrant) to refuse to perform a same sex marriage.
• The assurance given by Louisa Wall in Parliament during the 1st Reading of the Bill, that the Bill did not require any person or church to carry out a marriage if it does not fit with the beliefs of the celebrant or the religious interpretation a church has, is legally wrong.
• If the Bill is passed, then a marriage celebrant (and any church minister in his or her capacity as a marriage celebrant) will not be able lawfully to decline to marry a couple by reason that the couple are of the same sex.
• Statements made by Charles Chauvel confuse the performance of a religious ceremony with the public function of a marriage celebrant.
• If a religious body or group chooses to supply its premises for hire to the public (whether ‘consecrated’ or ‘non-consecrated space’, whether ‘sanctified’ or ‘non-sanctified space’ within a church, mosque, synagogue, tabernacle or temple), then it cannot refuse to do so by reason of any prohibited ground of discrimination in s21 of the Human Rights Act 1993.
• It is not ‘scaremongering’ to state the law.
ENDS

DOWNLOAD FULL LEGAL OPINION (dated 19 November 2012)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:


Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news