Media Release 16 October 2017
Family First NZ, an advocacy group in New Zealand which led the opposition to redefining marriage, says that the kiwi politicians are wrong when they try to argue that there have been no concerns since marriage was redefined to allow same-sex marriage, and that Australians at least are having a chance to have their say on the issue.
“Labour MP Louisa Wall who introduced the bill to change the definition of marriage fails to mention in her opinion piece (Australia’s marriage equality process did not have to be so politicised) about the marriage celebrants who have had their applications denied because they don’t want to officiate at a same-sex wedding, or venues and churches that have changed their policies regarding allowing wedding events because of the risk of litigation under the Human Rights Act, or the attempts to remove the charitable status of one of the leading charities who argued against same-sex marriage, or the recent announcement by a government committee to allow people to determine their own gender on their birth certificate,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ and co-ordinator of the Protect Marriage campaign.
“She also fails to mention the Catholic School which received a veiled threat from her regarding its funding when it spoke up for traditional marriage, or a Government ministry revealing that a second “wife” in a polygamous marriage may be entitled to a sole-parent benefit, or revelations that Auckland ratepayers were subsidising an event promoting polyamory for those who want to ‘relate to more than one partner’ and non-monogamous marriages, or that schools are being urged to offer “gender-neutral” uniform, toilet and changing room options under new guidelines from the secondary teachers’ union, or schools allowing biological males to use female facilities.”
“So contrary to the sales pitch, there have been very real effects of the change in the law, a chilling effect, and Australians should take heed of our experience, but also the similar effects in both the UK and the US,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“At the same time as politicians were rushing through the redefining of marriage – hostile to submitters and ignoring the rights of hundreds of submitters who wished to make oral submissions to the select committee – many of the politicians, including Ms Wall, were also collecting signatures for a referendum on state asset sales – saying that New Zealanders had a right to be heard on this issue and that the government should listen to the public. That same courtesy did not extend to changing the definition of a significant social and cultural institution which the politicians did not have the public mandate to change.”
“The proposal to hold a referendum on the definition of marriage was defeated – because the politicians pushing the change knew they were losing the debate,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“It’s great that Louisa Wall wants the people of Australia to be heard. It’s just a shame she didn’t afford New Zealanders the same opportunity.”
READ the Briefing To Australians on the consequences of redefining marriage