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

 

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis Party: Treasury Figures On Cost Of Criminalisation

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Investigation Into Mental Health Facilities Shows Disarray

The Health Minister must urgently launch an inquiry into mental health services, after serious issues with the standard of care at mental health and disability facilities around the country were revealed today, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news