Don't meddle with marriage any more

Carolyn Moynihan
26 May 2014
Reproduced with Permission

Youthfulness and Green party leanings make approval of group marriage more likely among New Zealanders, according to a new survey.

A year ago the country's politicians legalised same-sex marriage after a "marriage equality" campaign. The new poll of 1022 people by Curia Market Research asked people whether they favoured such equality for polygamy and marriages involving three or more people.

It found that there is overwhelming opposition to any further redefining of marriage to include such arrangements. Asked, "Do you personally think the law should allow three or more people to marry each other?" just 10 percent of respondents said yes, while 81 percent rejected the notion.

However, 16 percent of under 30s (compared to 4 percent of over 60s) and one in four Green party supporters approve of group marriage.

Most New Zealanders think there is no danger of such a development. Asked, How likely do you think it will be that Parliament someday could pass a law to allow group marriage between three or four people?" 85 percent thought it unlikely.

But Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First - which commissioned the poll - warns that it wasn't long ago that civil unions were considered enough to do justice to same-sex couples. He also points out that there is nothing in principle to stop further tinkering with marriage law under the heading of equality:

A former Dutch MP Boris Dittrich who was behind the first same-sex marriage legislation in the world, and brought to NZ by supporters of the same-sex marriage bill to make a submission to the Select Committee, has admitted that group marriages of three or more people is the next step. He admitted the most effective wedge to bring the idea before the public was to 'focus on the principles of equality and non-discrimination.'

If the definition of 'marriage' allows same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, it could then be argued that we are discriminating against those seeking polygamous or group marriages - if all that matters is love and commitment. Why would discrimination against these loving adults be OK? They may be illegal now, but it wasn't that long ago that same-sex marriage was illegal also, and we were told civil unions were sufficient and marriage wouldn't be touched.