Media Release 22 August 2012
Family First NZ has written to Dunedin Mayor David Cull asking why Dunedin City Council staff are able to access websites supporting gay marriage, but access to the ‘Protect Marriage’ website which promotes the current definition of marriage is blocked.
“We were contacted by a concerned staff member who was stunned when they tried to access our website to sign the petition, and told that the site was deemed ‘Hate’ and that the web page ‘contravenes Dunedin City Council’s Acceptable Usage Policy’. The staff member’s response was that ‘if the concept that marriage should be between a man and a woman is offensive, then I despair for the future of this country.’ We agree,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“It is highly hypocritical and inconsistent that one side of the debate can be blocked, but not the other. This is discrimination at its worst and Dunedin City Council seems to be initiating their own version of hate speech laws. If they were consistent, both websites would be blocked. But this is part of the culture war that is going on at the moment. Activists are working hard to eliminate all opposing debate on this important family issue – as we experienced with the unprecedented hacking of our website when first launched.”
“Ironically, other websites which have been blacklisted by web filters used by McDonald’s Restaurants because of highly offensive material are able to be accessed by Dunedin City Council workers,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First NZ will also be investigating whether other government departments and organisations are applying the same discrimination.