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

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news