Media Release 15 March 2013
A former Dutch MP who was behind the first same-sex marriage legislation in the world, and brought to NZ by supporters of the same-sex marriage bill to make a submission to the Select Committee, has admitted that group marriages of three or more people is the next step.
In a video interview with a French online gay magazine, Boris Dittrich, a former Dutch MP and gay activist now working for Human Rights Watch, said the redefinition of marriage has led to discussions of allowing group marriages of three or more persons. “But that’s the beginning of something completely new.” He acknowledged that this next step “will take a lot of years.” Netherlands was the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage, in 2001.
He said that in the countries where it has been created, legislators pushing for gay “marriage” started the process by promising that “civil partnerships” were as far as it would go, and that marriage would remain untouched – the exact same promises made in NZ in 2004. “We thought it might be psychologically better to first introduce registered partnerships,” and that once “people got used to the idea that two men or two women went to the municipality, had their relationship recognised by the law. And people called it a ‘gay marriage’…. So then the next step of marriage equality, and really being equal, was a logical step.”
He admitted the most effective wedge to bring the idea before the public was to “focus on the principles of equality and non-discrimination.”
“If the definition of marriage was extended to allow same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, it could then be argued that we are discriminating against those seeking polygamous or group marriages – if all that matters is love and commitment. Why would discrimination against these loving adults be ok? They may be illegal now, but it wasn’t that long ago that same-sex marriage was illegal also, and we were told civil unions were sufficient and marriage wouldn’t be touched,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
Green activists in Australia have just established the Polyamory Action Lobby which is petitioning parliament to allow polygamous marriage. Two government studies released by Canada’s Justice Department in 2001 and 2006 recommended the decriminalisation of polygamy, with one arguing that the move was justified by the need to attract more skilled Muslim immigrants. The government has resisted the call, thus far.
In their 2006 statement “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage, A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families & Relationships,” more than 300 “LGBT and allied” scholars and advocates— including prominent Ivy League professors—called for legal recognition of sexual relationships involving more than two partners.
“NZ’ers need to know exactly where this same-sex marriage debate is heading,” says Mr McCoskrie.