Same-sex ‘marriage’ bill: Open petition to Speaker
Same-sex ‘marriage’ bill: Open petition to Parliament’s speaker – Rt. Hon. David Carter
Today the Society sent an Open Petition to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. David Carter, relating to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, in protest against the malicious activities of a key member of the Government Administration Committee, which had the task of assessing over 21,000 written submissions on the bill and 220 oral submissions.
The Society seeks the Speaker's assistance to have defamatory comments made against our Attorney-General, the Hon. Christopher Finlayson, and another MP, by former MP Charles Chauvel while he served on the Government Administration Committee chaired by Hon. Ruth Dyson, investigated in terms of the damage they have caused to the integrity of the Select Committee process. Ms. Dyson must have been made aware of such public attacks by Chauvel on fellow-MPs and fellow select committee members who do not support the bill. The Society which made its own written and oral submission to the committee, seeks to have Ms Dyson's chairmanship of this committee investigated in the light of the proven bias, and defamatory comments made by Chauvel against those who oppose the bill and his attacks on a fellow committee member.
At the Society's AGM, chaired by Kapiti Coast businessman President John Mills, members unanimously agreeed to support efforts by the national committee to oppose Louisa Wall's 'same-sex marriage' bill that seeks to amend the Marriage Act 1955, to allow for "same-sex 'marriage'".
The Letter sent to the Speaker by the Society reads:
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Rt. Hon. David Carter
4 April 2013
Our national executive was alerted recently to a video from the television programme – “GayTalk Tonight” available online on You Tube – an interview by "gay man" Andrew Whiteside with “gay man” Labour Party MP and member of the Government Administration Committee, Charles Chauvel – on the subject:
“WHY OUR GAY ATTORNEY-GENERAL – CHRIS FINLAYSON – IS AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE”.
I would urge you to view it if you have the time (~12 minutes). We believe it is defamatory and we are appalled that an MP who was on the Government Administration Committee for some time considering Louisa Wall’s marriage bill, has attacked the Attorney-General so maliciously, his Office, his fellow MPs and a fellow select committee member in this way.
The video was produced and uploaded (published) on You Tube on 1 December 2012 at a time when Mr Chauvel was sitting on the Government Administration Committee considering submissions on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, which proposes amendments to the Marriage Act 1955 to allow “gay” people to be granted marriage licences.
The interview took place soon after our Society (SPCS) made its oral submission to the select committee on the bill on 22 November 2012, as it refers to a verbal interaction involving select committee member National MP Kanwaljiy Singh Bakshi and two “gay” men made during the course of their submission, reported on by GayNZ.com on 26 November 2012 in an article “Gay couple say ignorant, bigoted MP [Bakshi] must go”. SPCS reported on this matter involving “gay” couple John Joliff and Des Smith in its December Newsletter and on the attack on Mr Singh’s integrity by the “gay” community, especially Gaynz.com. (The interview took place after the House completed its First Vote on the bill to send it to the select committee, but before the second vote).
In the video interview Chauvel unfairly and incorrectly dismisses the oral and written submissions from ALL those [including SPCS] who opposed the bill as ALL being “motivated by religious disapproval of homosexuality” and ALL lacking any “good logical argument as to why New Zealand shouldn’t move in this direction” [towards "gay" marriage]“. His extreme bias is self-evident. He even denigrates his fellow select committee member Mr Singh MP by agreeing with the interviewer’s nasty suggestion that Mr Singh raised “very curious questions, almost of a sexually intimate nature” of the two “gay” men while they made their oral submission. Mr Singh was effectively dismissed as a ignorant MP who was not fit to be on the committee because he questioned the two men on their potential use of the terms “husband” and “wife” should they enter a “gay marriage”, if the bill becomes law. GayNZ.com has pursued Chauvel’s attack on Mr Singh.
In our view some of Chauvel’s comments are defamatory (see examples below) and in breach of parliamentary procedure. (We are aware that Chauvel left his job as MP to work at the UN on about 11 March 2013).
Chauvel states that in his opinion it is “sad beyond belief” that an acknowledged “gay man” like Attorney-General Chris Finlayson and NZ First “gay man” Denis O’Rourke MP have consistently opposed the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Bill.
He says he believes that Finlayson’s and O’Rouke’s opposition to it is a “manifestation of self-hatred” by “gay” men. He refers to Finlayson’s “peculiar way of thinking” and links his alleged “self-hatred” to alleged comments he made publicly at a UNIQ Forum at Auckland University where they both were speakers….
“… Very early on in my parliamentary career … he [Chris Finlayson] said the most extraordinary thing during the course of the presentation” at this UNIQ Forum ….
“Every morning I go down on my knees and pray and say to God ‘God why did you have to make me a homosexual and a Catholic’”
Chauvel adds in a condescending tone:
“And I think, whenever I try and puzzle through Christopher’s peculiar way of thinking about his sexuality – the way he interacts with the world, I remember that particular episode. My own view is that it is sad beyond belief… I find the idea of a gay man voting against marriage equality to be so unusual that it’s hard for me to try to define what leads to that particular manifestation of self-hatred. We had two gay men in the House who voted against the bill …”
We believe the presentation of Charles Chauvel’s views [on the video] may well need to be referred to the Privileges Committee who can examine whether Ruth Dyson, the Committee Chair was aware of it and approved it. This sort of defamatory activity undermines the integrity of the political process. While a bill is being considered by a select committee, surely committee members are duty-bound not to attack the integrity of fellow members, and engage in defamatory attacks against MPs who oppose their views.
We find it particularly disturbing that Chauvel should threaten the two “gay men” who had the temerity to vote against the Bill stating that they should be held to account by the community. Chauvel claims the high ground on tolerance and support for human rights but would like to stifle anyone who disagrees with him on this issue. That is the new intolerance and we fear difficult days lie ahead.
Because Chauvel has resigned as an MP, the Privileges Committee will have no jurisdiction over him. However, we are requesting that you ask the Chairs of the Privileges Committee and Standing Orders Committee for a ruling on whether it is acceptable for a member of a Select Committee while the Committee is considering legislation to –
- engage publicly in an attack denigrating a fellow member of the Committee
- publicly berate members of the House who have voted against the first reading legislation in question
- engage in a highly partisan interview on the subject that the Committee is considering while the Committee is still conducting hearings and has not given its report.
In our view, the way Mr Chauvel has acted has done damage to the integrity of the Select Committee process and if that process is to enjoy public respect a statement on the acceptability of such conduct on the part of a member needs to be ruled on. It is consistent with the manner in which our oral submission was treated on 22 November 2012 by the Committee chair – Hon Ruth Dyson and Deputy Chair Chris Auchinvole (Report on committee: ref 1). Our detailed submission (see ref. 2) was one of only 220 chosen out of about 21,500 received by the committee, that was chosen as worthy of oral presentation because it contained “unique material”.
We look forward to your response.
National Executive (see full list http://www.spcs.org.nz )
Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. (“SPCS”)
Incorporated Society since 25 September 1975 (Soc. No. 217833)
P.O. Box 13-683