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Saturday 11 April 2015

'Gay parents are killers' judge dies

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 3rd April 2015

Judge Michael Brown
An ex-youth and family court judge who tried to convince MPs that gay parents were more likely than other parents to kill their own children has died.

Judge Michael (Mick) Brown, who died today aged 77, had retired from from the Family Court bench and was Pro Vice Chancellor Maori of Auckland University when he co-signed a letter to MPs urging them not to pass the 2004 Civil Union bill. It eventually passed, giving legal recognition to same-sex partnerships for the first time.

The letter was penned by conservative Christian Auckland property developer John Sax and also co-signed by then-mayor of Auckland Dick Hubbard. The letter claimed that overseas research showed that same-sex parents were more likely than other parents to kill their own children

Hubbard subsequently met with representatives of the gay community and within days withdrew his support for the letter and issued a public apology to glbti people. Sax eventually agreed to be interviewed by and tried to justify the letter's claims, none of which stacked up. It emerged that he was influenced by American evangelical websites which made numerous unsubstantiated claims against glbti people.

Brown never acknowledged offers to publicly discuss the matter through and maintained an ongoing public silence on the matter.

Other signatories were then-Chief Executive of Air New Zealand Ralph Norris, who also maintained silence on the matter, and Once Were Warriors author Alan Duff who has continued to lambast gay people.

The Civil Union legislation passed by 65 votes to 55 and eventually paved the way for legal same-sex marriage and some regularisation of the situation facing same-sex couples who wished to adopt children.

The Family Court has since voiced its support for moves to revise New Zealand's 1950s-vintage adoption legislation to fully embrace legal adoption by same-sex couples.

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