Gay marriage has 'grounds to discriminate' - Colin Craig
Opponents of a proposed law change that would allow gay couples to marry have appeared before a select committee looking into the issue.
A total of 20,000 submissions have been made on Labour MP Louisa Wall's private members bill.
The debate is a global one.
President Obama has endorsed gay rights.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law and if we truly are created equal then surely the love we commit to one another should be equal as well.”
But 800,000 French men and women took to the streets to oppose gay marriage last week.
Two of the debate’s most outspoken critics spoke before the select committee looking into a proposed change this evening.
Christian group Family First presented a petition signed by 72,000 who want marriage to remain between a man and a woman.
Group director Bob McCroskie said marriage rules are there for a reason.
“Marriage rightly discriminates - a 14 year old cannot get married, three or four people cannot get married to each other, a person who is currently married cannot marry another person, a father cannot marry an adult daughter.”
But Labour list MP Moana Mackey did not like Mr McCroskie’s analogy.
“I find it very offensive that you're likening same sex marriage to saying we should allow fathers and daughters to marry,” she said.
However, Mr McCroskie then seemed to backtrack.
“I've been careful to say if you say consenting adults want to form a relationship, who are we to discriminate.”
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig said he believed civil unions allowed for same sex couples to have equal legal rights, and sometimes observing differences served a purpose.
“There are grounds to discriminate on certain things. If you said to me, ‘do I think there should be separate toilet facilities when it comes to men and women’, ‘yes I do’.”
The select committee will report back to Parliament in late February.