'No reason' to legalise polygamy

Last updated 05:00 03/08/2012

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Even if you believe in polygamy that is no reason to make it law, the Auckland-based head of the New Zealand Islamic Society says.

Haider Lone was responding to a comment from Conservative Party leader Colin Craig where he said that if parliament moved to make same-sex marriages legal, then "polygamous relationships need recognising as well".

Lone said he did not believe laws should be made like that.

"Your beliefs can be different but you have to go with what the majority thinks."

Craig said Louisa Wall's same sex marriage bill, which seeks to make the institute of marriage available to people in same sex relationships, would just end up creating "fresh injustices" discriminating toward polygamy.

"If we are going to be consistent, and love is all that matters, then we will have to accept polygamous relationships need recognising as well," he said.

However, Lone disagreed saying just because you believed in something did not necessarily mean that it should be enshrined in law. He did not think most of New Zealand would agree with the lifestyle.

In Islam, polygamy is allowed, with the specific limitation that a man can have up to four wives at any one time.

Muhammad had 11 wives in his lifetime, and had four wives at a time. The Qur'an states that men who choose this route must deal with their wives justly.

Polygamy and polyamory have been added to the same-sex marriage debate in Australia because the "discrimination" argument being used to argue for allowing same-sex marriage also applies to any number of adults who love each other and want their relationships recognised.

Two government studies released by Canada's Justice Department in 2006 recommended the decriminalisation of polygamy, with one arguing that the move was justified by the need to attract more skilled Muslim immigrants.

National Director of Family First NZ Bob McCoskrie, echoed Craig's sentiment.

"If we are going to have a debate about same-sex marriage and liberalising adoption laws, it is essential that the politicians acknowledge just how far this is going to go, and what relationships will continue to be discriminated against."

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