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ABOUT THIS SITE

 

The site has been established by Nigel Christie, co-ordinator of LeGaLE as a means of presenting information and providing comment on issues relating to the legal rights of gay men and lesbian women in New Zealand / Aotearoa with particular reference to the full and equal recognition of our relationships.

Please feel free to send your views on the issues presented, or suggestions for the inclusion of further information. I trust that you will enjoy having a look through the site, and I hope that you will find information of interest and of value.

 

ABOUT LeGaLE

I have a general interest in human rights laws in New Zealand and, in particular, human rights laws which affect us as gays and lesbians. It is on this basis that I established LeGaLE as a vehicle for the promotion of equality under the law for gays and lesbians in New Zealand. Although there is obviously some room for the consideration of issues affecting gays and lesbians as individuals, the key focus is on rights of gays and lesbians as couples or as partners to a relationship. For example:

  • full and equal relationship recognition through marriage;
  • partner immigration;
  • relationship property;
  • domestic violence; and
  • parenting and adoption.

It is important to me that we work on each of these issues as human rights rather than gay or lesbian rights - that is, we are seeking full and equal rights through equal treatment under the law; we are not seeking 'special' rights.

In this respect, I have been involved in some very exciting work and events. For example:

  • I was involved in the Quilter same-sex marriage case that went to the High Court in Auckland in April 1996.
  • I appeared as Junior Counsel when the Quilter case went before the Court of Appeal in Wellington in September 1997.
  • I assisted in the drafting of the Joslin Communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and acted as Counsel for the Authors (the Complainants) in drafting the Final Response to the Committee.
  • I have been involved in a complaint to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission in relation to the Adoption Act 1955.
  • I have had the privilege of assisting a number of couples with their immigration applications.

I have also participated in a number of conferences both here in New Zealand and internationally.

  • In July 1999, I presented a paper at an international conference on the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. My paper, as can probably be expected, centred on the New Zealand same-sex marriage case.
  • In June 2002, I travelled to Turin in Italy to attend a further conference on similar issues. The Conference "Marriage, Partnerships and Parenting in the 21st Century" took place over a four-day period from 5-8 June. Once again, I presented a paper on the New Zealand case currently before the United Nations Human Rights Committee - essentially providing an update on the Quilter case.
  • In July 2006, I travelled to Montreal in Canada to another conference.

In addition, I have participated in workshops and panel discussionsI have presented written and oral submissions to Parliament on issues of concern to the gay and lesbian communities, have been involved in Ministerial Advisory groups, (in additions to the key piublications included on this website) have had numerous items published in the newspapers and magazines, and have been interviewed for written media and on radio and television.

Although it could be said that, in commparison with gays and lesbians in many other countries, we are fortunate. I strongly believe, however, that equality is a destination and not a journey. Completeness only comes with full and equal treatment under the law, and so long as we are denied access to full and equal rights (and full and equal responsibilities) we remain second-class citizens.

Nigel

 

LeGaLE, PO Box 5235, Wellington, New Zealand