Where Do Politicians Stand On Polygamy?

Media Release 30 May 2012
Family First NZ is calling for the National, Labour and Green party to state where they stand on the issue of redefining marriage to allow polygamy and polyamory.

“Polygamy and polyamory have been added to the same-sex marriage debate in Australia because the ‘discrimination’ argument being used to argue for allowing same-sex marriage also applies to any number of adults who love each other and want their relationships recognised,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “At the moment, the New Zealand marriage law does discriminate against three or more people getting married, or a married person marrying another person.”

“If the definition of marriage was extended to allow same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, it could then be argued that we are discriminating against those seeking polygamous, polyamorous, or adult incestuous unions – if all that matters is love and commitment. If we are going to have a debate about same-sex marriage and liberalising adoption laws, it is essential that the politicians acknowledge just how far this is going to go, and what relationships will continue to be discriminated against,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First NZ has been consistent in arguing for the definition of marriage to be one man and one woman – opposing any redefining of marriage to allow, for example, polygamy, polyamory, same-sex marriage, and other options. The Australian Greens have declared they have a clear policy to discriminate against polyamorous marriage.

A 2002 report from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs said “New Zealand legislation gives a mixed message about what the State counts as family. For example… only the male and one wife from a polygamous family are allowed to immigrate to New Zealand. There is an increasing recognition of the need to avoid enshrining in legislation concepts of family which are exclusive.”

And former Labour party Minister for Social Development and Employment Ruth Dyson in a speech to Victoria University first year Social and Public Policy students in 2008 saidWe must cater for the diversity we know 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.”

Two government studies released by Canada’s Justice Department in 2006 recommended the decriminalisation of polygamy, with one arguing that the move was justified by the need to attract more skilled Muslim immigrants.

“NZ’ers need to know exactly where the same-sex marriage debate is heading and the political parties should front up with their policies,” says Mr McCoskrie.


5 comments for “Where Do Politicians Stand On Polygamy?

  1. Shane Ponting
    30 May 2012 at 12:20 am

    How many men can afford the “up keep” on *several* women let alone just one? I think it should stay illegal even if just so those women aren’t sucked into a poverty trap.

  2. margaret
    30 May 2012 at 2:45 am

    what of those who “declare” themselves to be bi-sexual – will they be able to marry a male and a female in a single ceremony – with power to add?

    What a fine time the lawyers and courts will have in
    sorting out these breakups……

  3. Bob
    30 May 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Think of the number of mothers-in-law 🙂

  4. Rhona MacKenzie
    30 May 2012 at 1:51 pm

    From what I can make out, the homosexual and lesbian communities seem to be influenced by their feminist contingent on polygamy. They seem to think that it is characterised by domestic violence, pedophilia, marital rape and incest and therefore do not want it decriminalised at all.

    As for this ‘polyamory’, I’ve read a British Columbian court decision that says that polyamory isn’t illegal in Canada, but polygamy still is.

  5. Margaret K
    5 June 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Your article is excellent Bob.
    Our forebears fought so hard to win protection for women in places where they were being classed as inferior/exploited or mistreated, not least within the marriage situation. Now Canada is talking about needing more skilled Muslim immigrants so they suggest -lets decriminalise polygamy. Are these same people asking how the Muslim women fare aside from the polygamy issue? Forgive me but I don’t think we’re talking about too many womens’ ‘rights’ here. Or if polygamy was legalised.
    There is no limit to the stupidity of the argument that marriage be defined by our rights because there is no limit to what people believe their ‘rights’ are. Our ‘rights’ are not being able to do just what we want to do. The good of the whole of society has to be taken into account and whether, what we want, will bring a destructive force upon the rest and at times, ourselves as well.

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