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‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ To Be Removed From Family Laws

MEDIA RELEASE
27 February 2013
‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ To Be Removed From Family Laws

Family First NZ says the Select Committee report on the same-sex marriage bill confirms that the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ will be removed from 16 pieces of legislation as it seeks to redefines marriage.

The report also confirms that the committee has ignored thousands of submitters including organisations who have requested to make oral submissions. There have been 21,533 submissions of which almost 3,000 are unique submissions, yet the committee has heard a little over 200 of them as they attempt to ram the bill through – equating to 1% of submissions. A number of significant organisations have been excluded from the opportunity to make an oral submission.

"National and Labour are ramming this bill through because they know that their core voter support bases are not happy with it, and they are desperate to get it off the political agenda – but in the process, they are trampling over the rights of New Zealanders to have their chance to speak up and contribute to the debate on this issue," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ and coordinator of the Protect Marriage campaign.

"The fact that a record of more than 20,000 submissions has been received on this bill shows just how important this issue is to so many people. It is a major change to an important human institution and foundation of our society, and in a healthy democracy, the people are entitled to speak and deserve to be heard in full. It should not be rushed, and democracy should not be denied, just because of a pre-determined reporting date which fails to recognise the weight of the issue," says Mr McCoskrie.

“Other Members’ bills are not being rammed through at such speed. Yet the same-sex marriage bill has had just six months to consider 21,500-plus submissions, hear oral submissions, and report back.”

“This is a cynical attempt to ram through a highly controversial law change without due consideration.”

There has also been an embarrassing backdown by the politicians and the Human Rights Commission who argued that the bill originally put forward by Labour MP Louisa Wall protected faith groups and celebrants. They now acknowledge that the law needs to be amended despite originally labeling Family First’s concerns as ‘scare-mongering’.

Family First is seeking legal advice on the effects of the proposed amendment.
ENDS


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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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