Faith Schools Opposing Gay Marriage Could Lose Funding

Media Release 5 October 2012
Family First NZ is hugely concerned by comments made by the author of the bill to redefine marriage regarding integrated schools who receive government funding and may disagree with altering the definition of marriage.

In comments to a gay website about Northland’s Pompallier Catholic College and comments made by the Principal opposing the bill, Labour MP Louisa Wall said ‘I don’t think in these days of integrated schools and given this school does receive some form of state funding, that advocating against equality and non-discrimination and supporting discriminatory laws is what schools and a principal should be promoting.’

“This seems to be a veiled but real threat to integrated schools, many who are faith-based and would oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, that they will either have to promote same-sex marriage against their own beliefs or be threatened with losing funding,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“This flies in the face of her earlier guarantees when she said that the bill ‘will preserve the rights of our churches to discriminate, because under the Bill of Rights we have freedom of religion.’”

“However, we know from international experience that if marriage is redefined, everyone would be subject to the new definition. Anyone who disagrees with it will be at odds with the law. And Louisa Wall now seems to be hinting that faith-based schools – Christian, Jewish, Muslim – would then be threatened with reduced or no funding if they continued to disagree,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The promises of tolerance and diversity are already appearing to be very shallow, and any religious organisations should see the warning signs now and speak up.”

Family First NZ is calling on MP’s to reject the bill.

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