Challenge Weekly 28 November 2012
The social and legal ramifications of the Marriage Amendment (Definition of Marriage) Bill are too great and it should be voted down, warns Family First NZ National Director Bob McCoskrie.
The public and other politicians are not hearing the full story, says Mr McCoskrie. He says the Human Rights Commission (HRC) is legally wrong on the effects of the Bill, and even the New Zealand Law Society and 24 members of the law faculty of Victoria University have called both the bill’s sponsor, Labour MP, Louisa Wall, and the HRC’s interpretation of the law into 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 Mr McCoskrie.
An initial legal opinion (dated August 27, 2012) obtained by Family First NZ from barrister Ian Bassett, before the 1st Reading of the Bill in Parliament, stated that marriage celebrants (including church ministers) exercising their public function would be in breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and acting unlawfully if they refuse to perform their public function as marriage celebrants by reason of the same sex of a couple seeking to be married.