In a media release issued on 25 June: Family First NZ a registered charity, is slamming the NZ Tourism Board for wasting taxpayer money on a stunt which is politically motivated. It also discriminates against couples who are of the opposite sex.
New Zealand’s tourism promoter is offering to fly two Australians to NZ and pay all ‘wedding’ expenses for them to become the first same-sex couple to wed under the redefinition of marriage laws, which come into effect on August 19.
“The Tourism Board is using a highly controversial law change which was rejected by more than half of NZ’ers to push a political agenda – and using taxpayer funds in the process. It is also disrespectful towards the Australian public who are currently debating the issue,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Not only is the offer discriminatory against a man and a woman who want to marry, but it fails to take in to account Australia’s marriage laws where less than a week ago, attempts to recognise gay couples who tie the knot overseas were shot down in the Australian parliament.”
“Did the Tourism Board make a similar offer to prostitutes when the decriminalisation of prostitution happened, or to students when the interest free student loans were introduced, or to families when the Working for Families package was announced?” says Mr McCoskrie.
“The Tourism Board should stick to promoting the country for its scenery and tourist attractions – rather than entering in to the culture war around the definition of marriage.”
Family First will write to the Minister of Tourism expressing their concerns. They will also consider laying a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.