Article Title:Social agenda claims rejected
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:20th November 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2120
Text:The government yesterday completely rejected claims that it is pursuing an agenda to promote alternative family types at the expense of marriage with the proposed Families Commission. Social Development and Employment minister Steve Maharey said such claims, levelled by religious-right front group Maxim, were “unsubstantiated”. “What we are equally clear about is that we have no intention of basing access to support from government agencies on grounds such as whether those seeking help are married heterosexuals,” Mr Maharey told “The government does not intend taking a judgmental stance on parenting and families. Questions of family size, composition and structure are for people to decide for themselves." In Maxim's “Real Issues” newsletter this week, the Institute also commented on the failure of a select committee to report on the proposed Families Commission Bill, speculating that opposition parties “were not prepared to go along with the thinking behind the bill that almost any group with 'psychological attachment' now counts as a family”. But Mr Maharey told that amendments proposed by opposition members to the bill in the select committee stage were “largely technical”, and that the refusal of opposition members to follow the regular procedure of referring the Bill back to the House for debate were “petty political games”. “The government now intends tabling these amendments itself during the Bill's remaining Parliamentary stages,” Mr Maharey said.    
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