Fairfax NZ News Report: Lobbyists gather before the vote tonight in Parliament on the Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill, that if passed into law, would allow “gay marriage”. The Bill is “sparking sharp political and moral division”……
Lobbyists about Parliament yesterday included a Korean delegation of pastors strongly against gay marriage.
Marriage is created and ordained by God . . . as a unit between one man and one woman to reflect the image of God,” the Rev Chang Bum Ko said.
He said he would return to Korea if the bill became law.
The pastors handed MPs a legal opinion by lawyer Ian Bassett, which was commissioned by the lobby group Family First [a charity registered with the Charities Commission].
Mr Bassett’s opinion suggested 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 Ms Wall’s bill was adopted.
Another Labour MP, Damien O’Connor, broke ranks with most of his caucus colleagues yesterday, suggesting Parliament should be focused on “far bigger issues”
“We need to uphold marriage as a structure, as a construct around family life as a best intent,” Mr O’Connor said.
“There are far bigger issues in society, and the inequality across the board … something everyone should be concerned about and that’s what we should be focusing on.”
Mr O’Connor will join fellow Labour MPs Su’a William Sio and Ross Robertson in voting against the bill led by their caucus colleague Louisa Wall.
Rallies both for and against Ms Wall’s Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill will turn out at Parliament today ahead of the first reading vote, which is expected late tonight.
Family First delivered a petition to Parliament that it said included 50,000 signatures against gay marriage. “Same-sex couples already have legal recognition through civil unions, so there is no need to redefine marriage,” its director, Bob McCoskrie, said.
For Full Story see: Lobbyists gather before marriage vote. Story by John Hartevelt. Fairfax NZ News
Note: Section 2(c) of the Society’s Constitution states: The objects for which the Society is established include:
“To promote the benefits of lasting marriage, strong family life and wholesome personal values as the foundation for stable communities.”