Friday, December 10, 2004

Better news...

From Canada
The Supreme Court decision

Almost record time. Barely two months after hearing three days of arguments for and against legalizing same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Ottawa does have the exclusive jurisdiction to decide who has the right to get married in the country - but that religious groups are not obliged to perform unions against their beliefs.

"It means the same-sex marriages that have already been performed in this country are legal and must be recognized," said Mary McCarthy, a lawyer who represented some of the same-sex couples who had standing before the Supreme Court hearing.

From New Zealand
Internal affairs prepares for civil unions

The reality of the Civil Union Act's passage is hitting home for the Internal Affairs Department, which has just 4-1/2 months to ensure it is ready for couples to take the plunge.

MPs yesterday passed the Act 65-55, thereby giving legal recognition to same-sex and de facto partnerships.

Births, Deaths and Marriages registrar-general Brian Clarke said the department would be working to ensure all New Zealanders could access civil union products and services from next April 26.

That included providing licences, registration services, the appointment of civil union celebrants and registry ceremonies.

"We will ensure registrars and celebrants are appointed, registration processes and information technology processes are up and running and staff trained," Mr Clarke said in a statement.

"Over coming months we will appoint civil union celebrants. Current marriage celebrants do not automatically become civil union celebrants."

Anyone interested in becoming a civil union celebrant would have to apply and meet certain criteria, he said.

Factual information about civil unions was available from today by calling 0800 22 52 52 and on the internet,

Meanwhile, National MP Bill English again predicted controversy over the Act's accompanying legislation, the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill, which deals with legal next-of-kin issues which currently are confined to spouse, or husband and wife.

That legislation was to have been dealt with at the same time as the Civil Union Bill but was held back by Parliament's justice select committee while details are finalised.

"The Civil Union Act will affect very few couples but the Relationships Bill stands to affect anyone in any kind of relationship," Mr English said in a statement.

"Under this legislation, all couples, whether or not they are even serious about their relationship, will find themselves with the same rights and obligations as a husband and wife.

"This is social engineering of a far greater degree than even the civil union legislation."

The forces of Liberalism are on the march, good to see, though odd that where, as in Yankland, direct democracy applies, people vote to allow sexual discrimination, but in Parliamentarilly sovereign states, the ruling elite can force it through., Sad, in a way, and I might come back to this theme on Saturday.


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