Letters: ‘Our laws seek to protect a way of life’

Tuesday November 19, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

You report (“Hopes pinned on Constitution to sway committee”, November 16) comments made by the Cook Islands Law Society with regard to the criminalisation of same-sex relationships.

 

The reality is, some of the Law Society’s members may agree with those views, some may disagree, and some may remain neutral on the matter.

I am a member of the Law Society and I hold a different position to what was expressed as the Law Society’s views in Saturday’s newspaper.

In brief, though the Law Society referred to Article 64 of the Constitution to support the view that same-sex bans were inconsistent with fundamental human rights and freedoms, the Preamble of the Constitution, for one, should not be ignored.

It mentions the recognition by the people of the Cook Islands of “the heritage of Christian principles, Cook Islands custom and the rule of law,” which arguably has relevance to the context (way) in which Article 64 is interpreted.

There is a question of whether same sex-bans are consistent or inconsistent with Article 64.

Secondly, our laws seek to protect a way of life, and reflect our values. As you chip away at this by legislation, among others, a different way of life and value base will emerge. The same-sex issue is part of a bigger picture.

Thirdly, there are wider issues affecting same-sex relationships. See, for example, the article on syphilis (“Age-old disease making a comeback”, Nov 15).

Lastly, the draft Crimes Bill comprises of 338 provisions. Have your say before it’s too late.

Rebecca Wood

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