New Zealand Charity Punished for Promoting Traditional Marriage, Opposing Homosexuality

In the weeks since New Zealand passed legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in the country, a pro-family charity in the country was notified that it will lose its charitable status because it offered support for traditional marriage.

The New Zealand charity, Family First NZ, was recently notified that it will lose its charitable status by the end of the month unless it appeals the decision.

Representatives for the group have claimed the move is solely political, aimed at quieting voices that advocate the maintaining the traditional notion of the family structure and silencing those who disagree with the current popular political culture.

Denise Roche of New Zealand's Green Party, whose members voted in favor of same-sex marriage, is leading the defense of the charity. She says that restrictions based on an entity's positions or social views is a threat to democracy and should not be tolerated.

"This is a highly politicized decision which is grim evidence that groups that think differently to the prevailing politically correct view will be targeted in an attempt to shut them up," Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, said in a statement.

But New Zealand's charity commission claims the reason for their actions is due to the charity's stance regarding marriage, which is regarded as solely political and "do not have a public benefit."

Family First's main purpose was "to promote points of view about family life, the promotion of which is a political purpose because the points of view do not have a public benefit that is self-evident as a matter of law," the country's charity commission said in a statement.

"You know a country is in trouble when a family group speaking up, publishing research and holding conferences on traditional family values is deemed to be of no public benefit, and is in the public interest to be punished. It seems to be almost illegal to hold a viewpoint," McCoskrie added.