Letters: Same-sex law reform

Tuesday November 05, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

I find your article, entitled "Backdown on same-sex law reform", published on Saturday 2 November 2019, mischievous.

 

To suggest a backdown from Members of Parliament is totally misleading and a lack of understanding of Parliamentary process, as the decision reported was made the Crimes Bill Select Committee (CBSC) and not Parliament.

The Committee was mandated by Parliament to scrutinise and review the draft Crimes Bill and to seek the views of the public. It has done this by inviting submissions from the public and conducting public meetings, here on Rarotonga, Southern Group, and Northern Group islands. It is now in the process of finalising its report to Parliament based on the feedback it received.

The CBSC report is schedule to be presented to Parliament at it first sitting in 2020. Parliament can either reject or adopt the recommendations of the CBSC, that is the prerogative of Parliament.

I think it's important to clarify that the decision by the CBSC to retain or reinsert the provisions of the Crimes Act 1969 back into the Crimes Bill, is based on the number of submissions and views expressed at public meetings in support of it.

It is not based on the views of the church, nor is it the view of Government until such time they have had the opportunity to review submissions made to the CBSC and then allow the submissions to follow due process through the legislature and Parliament.

Tingika Elikana
Chairperson
Crimes Bill Select Committee

Editor’s note: No mischief intended. The article correctly attributed the decision to MPs on the select committee, not to Parliament as a whole.

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