INDEPENDENT NEWS

Compulsary Marriage Act A Trap For Young People

Published: Wed 22 Nov 2000 10:22 AM
Compulsary Marriage Act A Trap For Young People - Young Nats
"A poorly drafted driftnet," was how Young Nationals' Policy Chair Grant Tyrrell described the Property (Relationships) Bill, which came back from Select Committee yesterday.
"Allowing just one month for submissions, the Government is pulling a fast one on young people. The government is changing the rules and many young people are blissfully unaware that if this Bill becomes law they could effectively be 'married' by the 'Reverend Clark' and 'Altarboy Anderton'.
"Relationships of varying degrees of seriousness and transience are a part of growing up for many young people, the thought of the government regulating this after just three years could come as a nasty surprise! In a flatting situation of shared accommodation and even finances it does not take too much imagination to see how this Bill could become a trap," Grant Tyrrell commented.
"Young Nationals are also concerned that there is little certainty in the Bill. Even if potential couples are aware that they may fall within the Bill's definition of a 'relationship in the nature of marriage' they may still be subject to Court interpretations as to when the relationship began and what activities constitute such a relationship. I doubt couples intending to get married would appreciate such uncertainty - let alone when it is the state conducting the service!
"Young Nationals continue to support equal rights under the law for same sex couples, although question whether a 'one size fits all' legislation is appropriate.
"If this Bill comes in to law as it is currently drafted the only winners will be lawyers - at the expense of young people," Grant Tyrrell concluded.
Ends

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