Open Letter to Hon Margaret Wilson

Published: Tue 21 Dec 2004 05:16 PM
21 December 2004
The Campaign Against The Civil Union Bill & Relationships Bill
Open Letter to Hon Margaret Wilson, Assistant Minister of Justice re complaint against Jacquie Grant, member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal
The Hon Margaret Wilson has responded to our complaint of 29 November ( over the transsexual member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal, Jacquie Grant, who had threatened to pursue the “Campaign against Civil Unions” on the basis of our criticism of civil unions and homosexuality on our web site
Grant had threatened us in these words: “Rest assured you will be taken to task at every opportunity for hate crime”.
In a subsequent email, Grant also wrote “I have known so many people through my years that have killed themselves because of the pressures from so called christian families it's no joke, and before you tell me that they are not christians let me tell you no matter what denomination / branch of christianity etc you are all the same”.
In this second email Grant not only shows extreme prejudice towards the members of the “Campaign against Civil Unions”, but also vilifies all Christians asserting that we are at least all capable of driving people to suicide. This is extreme language which not only shows a hatred of all Christians, but a preconceived notion that to criticise homosexuality or civil unions constitutes hate crimes.
Jacquie Grant is a member of a statutory body, the Human Rights Review Tribunal, which will be making decisions about whether individuals or groups have been unjustly discriminated against (i.e. whether their rights of freedom from unjust discrimination have been transgressed). Because of the plain prejudice displayed against a large segment of New Zealanders, Grant should not be allowed to judge any cases concerning human rights.
Associate Minister of Justice the Hon. Margaret Wilson, who is responsible for appointments to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, has responded to our complaint (her response is reproduced below). She has said that she could only establish a case of misconduct leading to Grant’s dismissal if first it could be established that Grant had shown “moral turpitude”. Wilson claims this has not been shown, but has not explained to us why not and has given no definition of what “moral turpitude” might amount to. The dictionary defines turpitude as “baseness, depravity or wickedness.” If anything remains wicked in our post-modern world surely accusing all Christians of being the sorts of people who cause others to commit suicide is as base a statement as one could imagine!!
Similarly to use one’s statutory position as a member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal to threaten New Zealanders who are merely exercising freedom of speech, and who have committed no crime, is an abuse of that position. At the same time Grant has threatened to pursue us because we have spoken out against human depravity, homosexuality being an example of that depravity as is clearly implied in the Bible (1Cor. 6.9)!!
It is surely a depraved person who would so threaten ordinary New Zealanders who are merely seeking to preserve some decency in our society. Surely Grant has shown “moral turpitude” or words mean nothing. Imagine the outrage if the same accusation had been levelled at the homosexual community!!
We are disappointed with the Minister’s response to our complaint and ask, at the very least; that an assurance be given that Grant will not sit on any cases involving Christians and those who are critical of civil unions and homosexuality.
Garnet Milne (Spokesman for the “Campaign against Civil Unions” )

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