Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill Based on Confused Thinking

Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment BillFamily Life International NZ is opposed to The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill as it is based upon the following confused thinking:

  • It assumes that not permitting people to marry somehow robs them of their dignity;
  • It views marriage as a human right and
  • It equates same-sex relationships with marriage which has existed since the earliest of human civilisations without state laws as it is already defined.

Due to the importance of this legislation and its ramifications, Family Life International ask Members to have an open mind and to first seek clarity of thought on these issues.

All human beings are entitled to respect and dignity. Such treatment is due to everyone solely because of their humanity and is independent of gender, sexual attraction or lifestyle.

All human rights flow from the right to life and our responsibilities to ensure each person has a decent life. From the right to life our other rights emerge to make life fully human – things such as health, food, adequate housing, and education, freedom of speech, religious liberty, and decent work.

In modern times there have emerged attempts to hijack the language of human rights to include agendas not pertaining to true human development. This includes talk of same-sex marriage as a human right. Yet authentic human rights are required as part of integral human development. These things are for everyone. In situations where they are missing, for example where communities, families or individuals are without food, shelter or work, it is universally agreed efforts are required to remedy the situation.

Marriage, while it is an important part of life for the majority, is not absolutely essential to integral human development. Many individuals follow another path in life and find fulfilment outside marriage. Therefore, it does not lie within the realms of human rights as such.

Further, marriage is not for everyone and all situations. To call it a human right implies that it should be available for everyone. Children in love are not permitted to marry. Someone who is already married is not permitted to marry. Parents are not permitted to marry their offspring and vice versa. In no way does this mean these people are being treated with disrespect or denied a human right.

Alongside the current confusion surrounding human rights, is a flawed understanding of freedom. Freedom in many minds has been equated with licence. Yet, it can be clearly foreseen that this view of freedom, if pursued, will lead to anarchy. True human freedom always takes into account the common good. When same-sex marriage is permitted as shown already by those advocating for it here and overseas it will undoubtedly open the door to the acceptance of polygamy and incest-type marriages. In life health professionals witness the intense anguish even consensual incestuous relationships create for the adults but especially the resulting children who often suffer severe physical impairments and emotional turmoil. Even if for this reason alone, we would strongly urge Members to do all they can to prevent New Zealand from going further down this road.

Limitations have been placed on marriage because it involves sex, which is sacred, and therefore, for the good of individuals and society, must be dealt with responsibly. New Zealand along with the whole Western world is painfully aware of the health, economic and social problems that arise when it is abused ( including but not limited to sexually transmitted diseases, cancers, fatherless families, family breakdowns, low-income single parent homes, poverty ).

Marriage has arisen naturally from our human nature. We seek a union and communion that is found only in the one flesh relationship, available to a man and woman. Same-sex relationships can try to mimic marriage but they can never be equal to it. This obvious reality is revealed in the fact a same-sex relationship cannot bring forth new life to nurture. Sex and procreation are intimately connected and it is the state’s duty to guard this natural reality by keeping marriage defined as being between a man and woman for the good of children who are best provided for when lovingly created in the marital embrace and nurtured by loving birth parents.

Family Life International NZ urges Members of Parliament to think clearly and not fall into the trap of calling marriage a human right; to understand that not permitting someone to marry does not amount to disrespect; to recognise that same-sex relationships while mimicking marriage cannot be equated with it and to uphold the basic cell of society founded on marriage for the good of the couple, children and society as a whole. The future of our nation depends on it for the natural family is the basic cell of society designed for the health and happiness of our future citizens.

Written by Clare and Ian McClean

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