Challenge Weekly 6 Sep 2012
Opponents to same-sex marriage are being urged to step up, now that the Marriage Amendment Bill has passed its first hurdle, and get their submissions into the select committee.
Although the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its first reading last Wednesday, and with the secular media trumpeting that gay-marriage is now a near-certainty, the fight to prevent it becoming law is far from over.
Although Church leaders have expressed their disappointment with the result which saw an overwhelming 80 MPs voting for a law change and 40 opposing it, Family First NZ says the debate has just begun.
Family First NZ’s director Bob McCoskrie, who has been the target of a sometimes vitriolic campaign by bill supporters, is providing information and resources to help make it easier for people to make submissions to the Select Committee.
Mr McCoskrie said Family First, which had presented the first batch of nearly 50,000 signatures on the Protect Marriage petition to parliament, was still collecting signatures. He hopes to get 100,000 signatures to present to the Committee. See protectmarriage.org.nz/sign-the-petition
Mr McCoskrie also warns Christians to be aware that there will be chilling consequences for the Church if the bill becomes law.
A legal opinion obtained by Family First NZ from Barrister Ian Bassett says marriage celebrants (including church ministers) will be breaching human rights legislation if they refuse to marry a same-sex couple. Even photographers and caterers, as well as adoption agencies and hoteliers, who refuse to supply services would be similarly affected, according to Mr Bassett.
Grant Illingworth, QC, said he agreed in principle with the legal opinion provided by Mr Bassett.