Baker Has Every Right To Freedom Of Conscience & Belief

Media Release 9 July 2018
Family First NZ says that service providers – including the Warkworth baker – who believe in traditional marriage should have every right to refuse to provide their services for same-sex weddings.

“While service providers cannot and should not be allowed to generally discriminate against anyone, neither should they be forced to participate in or support ceremonies and events with their services that directly violate their moral or religious convictions,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Service providers of Christian or Muslim faith or who have conscientious objection to the redefinition of marriage are in a no-win situation. They can stick to their principles and suffer the consequences of court cases, substantial fines and legal costs, or they can capitulate and go against their conscience and beliefs. Yet politicians promised that this pressure would not happen.”

“When pushing through the same-sex marriage bill, the Select Committee considering the bill said: ‘It is our intention that the passage of this bill should not impact negatively upon people’s religious freedoms… The bill seeks to extend the legal right to marry to same-sex couples; it does not seek to interfere with people’s religious freedoms.’ But a legal opinion obtained by Family First NZ during the debate and made available to politicians and the select committee clearly explained that law ‘will interfere with people’s rights to act according to their beliefs and conscience’.”

“The politicians, by rejecting advice from Crown Law, considered it to be appropriate that churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and other faith-based organisations and service providers could not refuse to host and provide services for same-sex ‘marriages’, even if it went against their beliefs and conscience,” says Mr McCoskrie.

In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research during the debate in 2013, the poll found strong support for protecting those whose beliefs and conscience disagree with same-sex ‘marriage’.

“As we argued during the debate, the law will create a culture of coercion, despite the politicians promising otherwise. Unfortunately, this will not be the last case of this law interfering with people’s freedom of conscience rights and faith-based beliefs.”

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