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

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial To Be Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together tomorrow to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service starts at 12 noon tomorrow, February 22, at the Memorial site on the Ōtākaro/Avon River, in the area bordered by the Montreal Street Bridge, Durham Street, and Cambridge and Oxford Terraces. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news