The New Zealand Catholic Bishops continued to voice their concerns despite the result of the Second Reading tonight.
“The progress of the Bill doesn’t change the fact that a large portion of New Zealanders remain deeply concerned at the fundamental change to the foundation of the family, said Archbishop John Dew, President of the New Zealand Bishops Conference.
“The question remains - have we truly considered the impact of this on the raising of children, However much children brought up by homosexual partners may be loved and cared for, no one has the right to intentionally deprive them of a father’s love or a mother’s love or the parenting of either a father or a mother, said Archbishop John Dew.
“Too often children suffer because of the ways adults pursue their own interests and desires. An adult’s claim to a “right to choose” inflicts a penalty on the child, he said.
“Marriage protects the right of the child to be raised, wherever possible, by his/her biological parents, and to fully experience the parenting of a mother and a father. Circumstances may mean this ideal is not always be able to be met, but it should not be deliberately set aside in order to satisfy adult desires, said Archbishop Dew.
“This is not a debate about homosexuality. Our stance on marriage is not a denigration of persons who are homosexual, he said.
“We believe that the term "marriage" signifies a particular reality; that of a public, committed, permanent and loving relationship between one man and one woman, a relationship which has natural orientation towards the procreation of new human life, he said.
“A same sex marriage can be loving and committed. It can never, however, meet the other essential and defining characteristic of marriage, the sexual difference and complementarity, said Archbishop Dew.
“We are also very concerned about claims that those who opposed the Bill were not counted as unique Submissions and were therefore not heard by the Select Committee or represented in the numbers of Submissions either for or against, while supporters of the Bill who used form letters were counted as individual Submissions, this would be grossly unfair and would certainly not constitute a transparent, robust, democratic debate and process that we would expect from our Parliament, said Archbishop Dew.