Marriage Up, Divorce Down, Civil Unions Irrelevant

Family First NZ is welcoming the latest statistics on marriage, civil unions and divorce showing a declining rate of divorce, and an increasing number of marriages over the past decade.

While the marriage rate has retained its demand and relevance, the demand for civil unions has been negligible.

“The civil unions legislation has proved to be a complete white elephant,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, “despite the claims by the previous government that it would supposedly strengthen human rights and support the choices of apparently 300,000 people who were not married but lived in stable relationships.”

According to Statistics NZ data released today, there has been only 1,646 civil unions registered between April 2005 and March 2009. These comprised 1,330 same-sex unions (594 male and 736 female), 312 opposite-sex unions and just four transfers from marriage.

“NZ’ers didn’t feel discriminated against, and didn’t have a problem with the religious connotations of marriage, which are not compulsory anyway.”

“The huge amount of energy spent on trying to concoct a need for civil unions would have been better spent on developing policies which promote, encourage and strengthen marriage, and to minimise the likelihood of divorce, and thereby provide the best and safest environment for children to be raised.”

“According to the latest Census, more than 2/3’rds of NZ’ers in a partnership have chosen marriage as opposed to de facto or civil union arrangements. Tragically, the law now makes virtually no distinction between these different groups, with marriage no longer having the unique or special status it deserves.”

“Marriage is an important social good with a smorgasbord of positive outcomes for children and adults alike. Governments should focus on, and encourage and support what works,” says Mr McCoskrie.


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