Rotorua Daily Post 17 Oct 2012
Brochures asking people to urge MPs to vote against a same-sex marriage bill have been distributed in Rotorua with at least one local church making them available to parishioners.
Family First New Zealand [a registered charity] has published and distributed 70,000 brochures throughout the country encouraging people to voice their concerns about legalising same-sex marriage.
The brochures are part of its national campaign – Protect Marriage – which encourages people to write to the Parliament’s select committee with their concerns and sign a petition against an amendment to the 1995 Marriage Act that would allow same-sex couples to marry.
The brochures call for people to share their personal stories and views of marriage with the select committee before MPs vote on the second reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill early next year.
Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said it had already gained more than 55,000 signatures in the online component of the campaign and was aiming to get 100,000 by October 26 to present to Parliament ahead of the second reading.
Mr McCoskrie said he believed, based on the signatures they had collected and a Research NZ poll last month, public support for same-sex marriage was dropping.
“Only 49 per cent of the 500 respondents to the poll said they were in favour of same-sex couples being allowed to marry. This was down from 60 per cent in the same July 2011 poll by the company,” he said.
Mr McCoskrie said support had dropped because people were beginning to understand what the changes would mean for marriage and what was currently available to same-sex couples.
“A hundred and fifty pieces of legislation were changed in 2004 to recognise same-sex relationships under the Civil Union Act so there is no need to redefine marriage to achieve equality. The state which did not invent marriage has no authority to re-invent it,” he said. “People are also thinking more deeply about the issue rather than just listening to sound bites. Gays and lesbians have a right to form meaningful relationships they just do not have a right to redefine marriage. It is perfectly possible to support traditional marriage, while also recognising and respecting the rights of others.”