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NZ bishop says Govt rights legislation will sanction gay marriage

Bishop Peter Cullinane has described a New Zealand Government proposal to give gay and lesbian couples legal rights akin to those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples as "a smoke screen for the sanctioning of gay marriages".

The planned legislation would enable same-sex partners to enter into a "civil union" by which they could pledge a commitment to one another and officially register their joining.

The Palmerston North bishop said that under its present laws, New Zealand is "very vulnerable" to complaints under human rights laws. He said that other countries had introduced similar legislation under the guise of humn rights, but it amounted to the sanctioning of gay marriages.

The present bill has been drafted, but it has not yet been introduced into Parliament. Observers believe it likely that the government-supported measure would gain majority support in parliament.

The Advocate

Diocese of Palmerston North | Bishop Peter James Cullinane DD
NZ mulls laws on same-sex unions (News Interactive)
Canada unveils gay marriage rules, activists angry (
The Civil Unions Bill (GayNZ)

21 Jul 2003