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Wednesday 28 June 2017

Non-existent 'polygamy' speech slammed

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By News Staff - 13th August 2008

Political lobby group Family First has slammed a speech by Minister of Social Development Ruth Dyson which reveals Labour's ‘covert' agenda for recognizing polygamous relationships – but Dyson denies she ever made the speech.

No talk of 'triples': Ruth Dyson

The speech, sent in an email from Investigate magazine editor Ian Wishart, was stated as being from a talk Dyson gave at Victoria University back in May.

The speech notes read: "We must cater for diversity; we know it exists. By this I mean the range of relationships from single, couples, triples, blended, de facto, and so on. That's where we're going with social policy."

In comments which echo the Christian Right's campaigning against Civil Union legislation in 2004, Family First accused Labour of ‘covert' plans to develop relationships including 'triples'.

"We were always concerned that the Civil Unions legislation would signal a move away from recognising and promoting marriage as the preferable and best environment for children to be raised," the group warned. "However, this speech would suggest that we are on a slippery slope to recognising any form of relationship including polygamy and polyamory.

"Labour is redefining parenthood in a way nobody ever considered, and based on a rights and anti-discrimination culture, we may soon be legalising incestuous relationships," Family First's statement announced.

In response, Dyson says she never made the speech as quoted in the email. Her spokesperson explained that the speech was posted on a Government website in error, after it has been written for Dyson, then rejected.

Asked what the Government's policy on polygamous relationships was, Dyson told the Christchurch Press: "The social security legislation is very clear about what a relationship is you're either single or a couple. A couple is in the nature of marriage, which includes civil union and de facto.

"It's been the same for years. It's been tested in court. There's no interest in changing it."

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