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

 


Legal Experts Dispute Human Rights Commission

MEDIA RELEASE
22 November 2012
Legal Experts Dispute Human Rights Commission On Effects of Gay Marriage

Family First NZ says that the Human Rights Commission is legally wrong on the effects of the Marriage Amendment Bill, and that even the NZ Law Society and 24 members of the law faculty of Victoria University have called both MP Louisa Wall and the HRC’s interpretation of the law in to question in their submissions to the Select Committee.

“The bottom line is that the Human Rights Commission has endorsed and lobbied for this bill since day one, and they should not be depended on for independent legal analysis,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Based on the interpretation of s29 by the HRC and Louisa Wall, a marriage celebrant could lawfully decline to marry a particular couple because they are of different races or because the marriage celebrant disliked persons of a certain race (i.e. racial discrimination). Of course, that is completely unlawful and would quite rightly be a breach of s19 of the NZ Bill of Rights Act,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Legal opinions obtained by Family First NZ from Barrister Ian Bassett say that ‘s29 of the Marriage Act 1955 does not authorise a marriage celebrant to discriminate against homosexuals on grounds of sexual orientation. It is legally incorrect to infer otherwise’. And that ‘...if the Bill is passed in its present form, 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 (i.e. sexual orientation discrimination)’.

“The New Zealand Law Society and the Victoria University law faculty members’ submission, along with our latest legal opinion (dated 19 Nov 2012), has now questioned the validity of the assurances given by Louisa Wall in her speech in Parliament and by the Human Rights Commission in their submission.”

“The Law Society says celebrants may still be bound under human rights guidelines introduced after the Marriage Act and that there is significant doubt around the effect of s29, and members of Victoria University’s law faculty submit that the ambiguity should not be left for the courts to resolve,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“All this uncertainty and potential for costly litigation simply highlights that there are both intended and unintended consequences of changing the definition of marriage, and the Marriage Act should simply be left as is.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

ALSO:

New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news