Listen to the Executive Director of SPCS being interviewed on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill on Radio Rhema. [Read more…]
Church ministers with a moral objection to gay marriage would be criminalised by refusing to wed same-sex couples if a new bill becomes law, a legal opinion states.
The view of Ian Bassett on Louisa Wall’s ”marriage equality” bill, commissioned by conservative lobby group Family First, was released today. It came as a petition against the bill signed by about 50,000 people was delivered to Parliament this afternoon.
The bill is expected to pass its first reading when it is debated at Parliament tomorrow.
Bassett’s opinion suggests church ministers, marriage celebrants and even wedding photographers who withheld their services to same-sex couples on the grounds of a moral objection to gay marriage would be breaking the law if Wall’s bill passed.
It rejects the view of the Human Rights Commission, issued late last week, which said religious ministers would still be allowed to refuse to marry anyone – including same-sex couples – if Wall’s bill passed.
The Human Rights Commission statement was ”legally incorrect,” Bassett said.
“If a marriage celebrant is available to exercise his or her statutory role, he or she cannot refuse to do so by reason of any prohibited ground of discrimination (ie. such as sexual orientation),” his opinion stated.
The practical effect of the bill, if enacted, would be that church ministers with moral objections to same sex marriage would likely “withdraw totally from the statutory role of marriage celebrant; withdraw totally from providing religious marriage ceremonies to the public; continue providing religious marriage ceremonies only to members of his or her own church”.
Also as a result of the bill, a church could not refuse to rent out its premises to its members for a same-sex wedding on the grounds of their sexuality.
Church ministers with moral objections to renting out church facilities for same sex marriage functions and who wanted to ”avoid the risk of being forced to do so,” would ”likely withdraw from making their church facilities available to any member of the public, including play-groups, senior citizen or other community groups”.
”The consequences for churches and communities would be significant,” Bassett’s opinion said.
However, Wall said pastors and church ministers would not be obliged to marry anyone if her bill passed.
“They will retain all the rights that they currently have. They choose who they marry, they choose what definition of marriage they have and so my bill isn’t going to affect them in any way,” Wall said.
“We should have an open and honest debate. What I don’t like is scaremongering and the fact that ministers are saying that they will have to go to jail. That’s not right in our country and it won’t happen. I will protect the rights of our ministers to define marriage as they see fit.”
Wall said she believed there was “a solid 60” of the necessary votes to pass her bill and “a few of the undecided will hopefully join our team”.
Family First director Bob McCoskrie said MPs should reject Wall’s bill and instead ”focus on more urgent issues”.
“If marriage is redefined once, there is nothing to stop it continuing to be redefined to allow polygamy, polyamory and adult incest relationships,” McCoskrie said.
”Throughout history and in virtually all human societies, marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman.”
Bassett’s opinion said the assurances of the Human Rights Commission of any MP were of “no legal effect” unless an exemption was provided for in the legislation.
Bassett has previously represented the anti-abortion group Right to Life in some of its legal fights.
Source: Bill ‘forces same-sex marriages on church’ – lawyer. By John Hartevelt
Fairfax NZ News
Family First NZ, a registered charity (Reg. No. CC10094) that was registered with the Charities Commission on 21 March 2007, has announced that: “A website to protect the current definition of marriage as ‘one man one woman’ has been launched today. The website is www.protectmarriage.org.nz and has been launched in response to the private members bill of Labour MP Louisa Wall which seeks to redefine marriage.” [The registrant of the domain name protectmarriage.org.nz is Family First NZ, which purchased it on 4/08/2011].
“The website will provide research, latest news, quotes of interest, free downloadable resources about the role and function of marriage, and will host an online petition which will be presented to Parliament,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It also has the haveyoursay tool which enables people to easily contact their local MP, all MP’s, or a select group of MP’s to express their view.”
“Politicians have been hammered recently with the reasons for taking the twink bottle to the dictionary and to redefine ‘marriage’. This website will help balance the debate. Ultimately, the state – which did not invent marriage – has no authority to re-invent it.”
Family First also rejects the notion that NZ’ers are ready for same-sex marriage. In the US, polls have also shown support for same-sex marriage increasing, yet in every state where the issue has been on the ballet, voters have rejected it.
“Equality does not mean we must redefine marriage. Same-sex couples have the option of civil unions to recognise their relationship so there is no need for redefining marriage. If the law was redefined to allow same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, we would then be discriminating against those seeking, for example, polygamous, polyamorous, or adult incest unions,” says Mr McCoskrie. “If we are going to have a debate about same-sex marriage and liberalising adoption laws, it is essential that the politicians acknowledge just how far this is going to go.”
“Almost every culture in every time and place has had some institution that resembles what we know as marriage, and it has always been associated with procreation. Every society needs natural marriage. Nature also discriminates against same-sex couples. Same-sex couples cannot have children. Only a man and a woman can produce children. This discloses something of the purposes and providence of nature, and the role and purpose of marriage,”
“We would encourage politicians to spend their valuable time focussing on major issues such as family poverty, negotiating our way through the world recession, child abuse, and getting people employed – rather than taking to the dictionary with a twink bottle,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Gays and lesbians have a right to form meaningful relationships – they just don’t have a right to redefine marriage. The state – which did not invent marriage – has no authority to re-invent it.” Bob McCoskrie – National Director Family First NZ
In its Media Release dated 6 June 2012, Family First NZ, a charity (CC10094) registered with the Charities Commission, on 21 March 2007, says:
“The variation in recent results of same-sex marriage polls, and the influence of the question asked, simply highlights the need for a robust debate on the issue.
“In the US, polls have also shown support for same-sex marriage increasing, yet in 32 states where the issue has been on the ballet, voters have rejected it. Experts have said that the phrasing of the question can determine the outcome of the poll,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“A Research NZ poll last year of 500 people found that 60% of those polled supported the right of same-sex couples to marry – similar to tonight’s Close Up poll. However, earlier polling of 1,000 NZ’ers through independent research company Curia Market Research found greater support for maintaining the definition of marriage as a man and a woman. All this suggests that there is debate to be had on this issue.”
“At the end of the day, same sex couples have the option of civil unions to recognise their relationship so there is no need for redefining marriage. Equality does not mean we must redefine marriage for everyone. If the law was redefined to allow same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, we would then be discriminating against those seeking, for example, polygamous, polyamorous (group), or adult incest unions,” says Mr McCoskrie. “If we are going to have a debate about same-sex marriage and liberalising adoption laws, it is essential that the politicians acknowledge just how far this is going to go.”
“Almost every culture in every time and place has had some institution that resembles what we know as marriage, and it has always been associated with procreation. Every society needs natural marriage. Nature also discriminates against same-sex couples. Same-sex couples cannot have children. Only a man and a woman can produce children. This discloses something of the purposes and providence of nature, and the necessity of the two sexes,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Gays and lesbians have a right to form meaningful relationships – they just don’t have a right to redefine marriage. The state – which did not invent marriage – has no authority to re-invent it.”
Media release: 6 June 20122
Posted by Bob McCoskrie, Director Family First NZ
Tommy Lobel is an 11 year old boy who wants to be a girl – and his adoptive lesbian parents are giving him hormones to help.
The “two mums” Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel live in California. They adopted Tommy at age 2, and say he declared he was a girl when he was 3. He now calls himself “Tammy”. His adoptive mums are giving him hormones to delay puberty so he has more time to think about changing his gender (Herald Sun, 18/10/11).
However critics say 11-year-olds are not old enough to make life-altering decisions about gender, and parents should not encourage them. “This is child abuse. It’s like performing liposuction on an anorexic child,” said Dr Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
“It is a disorder of the mind, not a disorder of the body. Dealing with it in this way is not dealing with the problem that truly exists. We shouldn’t be mucking around with nature. We can’t assume what the outcome will be.”
Dr Sotirios Sarantakos of Charles Stuart University studied children brought up in same-sex couple families, comparing them with children raised by two natural unmarried parents. The parents were carefully matched for education and socio-economic status. [see ref. 1.]
Dr Sarantakos found that children raised by their natural married parents did better than the others on almost every measure. Children raised by same-sex couples generally did worse.
Teachers noted that sexual identity was a problem area for some children raised in same-sex couple families. They were more effeminate and “more confused about their gender” than other children. [Read more…]