Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar is standing
by his claim that legalising gay marriage could increase
crime, despite a backlash on social media.
Since Mr McVicar's submission to Louise Wall's Marriage
(Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was made public
today, a wave of protest tweets were posted on Twitter, many
using the hashtag #gaycrimewave.
Broadcaster Alison Mau, who is engaged to her female partner
wrote: "I'm oddly grateful for his help in getting the Bill
Labour MP Grant Robertson posted "welcome, all crimes,
grammatical or otherwise are a result of my deviance".
And media commentator Russell Brown tweeted: "Crime will rise
if gays are allowed to marry, says Garth McVicar ... Garth,
I'm so disappointed in you."
Today, Mr McVicar said his submission was personal and not on
behalf of the trust and stood by his claims,
"If you look at the court stats, most of the crime that has
been committed has been committed by fatherless kids."
He said if the bill is passed, same sex couples may be able
to adopt children.
"That's where it's heading - this is just another step in
that politically correct journey that we've been on as a
It wouldn't matter that some children, if adopted by a gay
couple, had two fathers, because they would still need a
mother, he said.
Green Party MP Kevin Hague, who sits on the select committee
considering the bill, said of the 20,000 submissions on the
proposals, Mr McVicar's was the only one to link gay marriage
But he said it mirrored a number of other submissions
connecting gay rights with an erosion of traditional values,
which is associated "in a vague way to various ills in
"They are statements of probably genuinely held belief, but
entirely absent of actual argument or evidence."
Campaign for Marriage Equality chairman Rawa Karetai said Mr
McVicar's submission was "far-fetched".
"I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that and the argument
seems to be unsupported."
Mr Karetai said he would be interested to see some
peer-reviewed studies on the subject.
Law lecturer Professor Warren Brookbanks from Auckland
University said he gave the submission "little credence" and
Mr McVicar's claims were speculative.
"It's hard to see in any realistic sense how it's going to
increase the crime rate.
"Without more evidence, based on the experience of some other
jurisdiction, for example, it's easy to make those
statements, but difficult to sustain them."
Just Speak, an organisation of young people wanting justice
system reform, said Mr McVicar's submission "beggars belief".
"If anything, allowing same-sex couples to wed may increase
stability for children growing up in the homes of same-sex
It said Mr McVicar would be better placed addressing issues
such as poverty, alcohol and drugs abuse, education, the
damaging effects of our high imprisonment rates, and high
Mr McVicar made the submission last month.
It said: "I see the marriage amendment bill as being a
further erosion of what I consider to be esential (sic) basic
values and morals that have stood the test of time for
He said the bill represented a further "decay and erosion" of
the traditional family that society had been founded on.
"While many of the proponents of this bill also decry the
escalation of child abuse, domestic violence, violent crime
and corresponding prison population they fail [or choose to
ignore] to see the connection of the social demise caused by
the policies they promote and the outcomes."
* Alison Mau: "I'm oddly grateful for his help in getting the
* Tony Milne: "Civil Unioned in 2008. Immediately felt urge
to rob old ladies & graffiti. #gaycrimewave
* Richard Hills: "The Jets & The Sharks have broken out
into a musical knife battle in Queen St. Garth McVicar was
right, the #gaycrimewave has begun."
* Richard Pamatatau: "Pondering names for gay gangs - stylish
Headhunters mongrel re-modellers #GayCrimeWave blah blah"
* Matthew Codd: "Remember how crime jumped in Iceland,
Canada, Sweden, Spain etc with #MarriageEquality? Me neither
* Becky Crouch: "Breaking news: Actual criminals turn away
from a life of crime because they don't want people to think
they are gay #GayCrimeWave"
* Andrew Miller: "WARNING: Anyone thinking of visiting NZ may
wish to reconsider.We have an impending crime way on it's way
* Robert Treacher: "Our prison interiors could use a zhoosh
* Martyn Bradbury: "There is glitter all over my house, the
place has been tidied and redecorated and my wine selection
mocked - I'VE BEEN ROBBED BY THE GAYS!"
- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ