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Marriage, Adoption and Human Rights

In this podcast Kevin Hague MP talks about the history of human rights legislation - internationally and in New Zealand. This session was recorded during the Marriage Equality Conference held at Community House in Wellington.

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The recording from the Marriage Equality Conference held in Wellington on December 1st, 2012, features a presentation by Kevin Hague on the evolution of human rights legislation internationally and in New Zealand, with a focus on marriage equality and adoption rights. The discussion highlights historical backgrounds, legal frameworks, and contemporary issues surrounding human rights, particularly as they relate to the LGBTQ+ community.

The session begins with a reflection on the history of LGBTQ+ rights activism in New Zealand, including the work done to reform laws and mitigate discrimination. Hague reflects on their own involvement in homosexual law reform, AIDS advocacy, and engagement with the Human Rights Act to achieve legislative changes supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Hague presents a comprehensive overview of human rights from an international perspective down to New Zealand's legislative context. The talk underlines the implications of international human rights instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various UN covenants, for New Zealand law. Hague emphasizes the need for the Human Rights Act not only to provide legal mechanisms for protection from discrimination but also to send a clear signal against discrimination, citing the absence of gender identity in the act as a significant lapse.

Part of the discussion centers on the relationship between public health and human rights, with Hague recounting experiences from AIDS Foundation work that linked the negative social environment affecting LGBTQ+ individuals to increased health risks. Hague argues for a more supportive social environment, legal equality, and the honoring of human rights as practical measures to address broad issues such as youth suicide, mental health, and educational outcomes.

The topic of marriage equality is addressed in depth, with an examination of the legal rights at play, such as the right to marry and freedom from discrimination. Hague notes the peculiar arguments by some opponents of marriage equality, who claim that gay individuals are not discriminated against since they possess the right to marry, albeit not someone of the same sex.

Regarding adoption, Hague provides background on the outdated Adoption Act (1955) and promotes a cross-party effort to overhaul adoption laws in New Zealand. Hague's bill seeks to repeal and replace the archaic law with a new, modern Care of Children Act, ensuring that the best interests of children are paramount in adoption processes, without excluding same-sex couples as potential parents.

Throughout the presentation, Hague fields questions on various subjects, including surrogacy laws, relationship recognition for international marriages in light of New Zealand law, and the potential need for parenting tests in the context of adoption.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

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Record date:1st December 2012
Location:Community House/Press Hall, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004083).