Family advocacy can be political and charitable, rules New Zealand judge

first_imgMercatorNet 1 July 2015A New Zealand organisation promoting the natural family has won a decision from the country’s High Court that its political activities do not necessarily disqualify it as a charity.Justice Collins ruled that Family First NZ’s advocacy of the traditional family makes it similar to “organisations that have advocated for the ‘mental and moral improvement’ of society” – that is, one of the classic types of charitable activity.Family First was granted charitable status by the then Charities Commission in May 2007 but was served notice of deregistration by the Charities Board, which replaced the commission, in September 2012 during the run-up to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in April 2013.In fact, the Charities Board confirmed its decision to deregister Family First just two days before the gay marriage law was passed. The juxtaposition of events made it very clear that the family group’s public campaign to preserve traditional marriage was the deciding factor in the Board’s decision.Today’s decision from the Supreme Court allows an appeal by FFNZ against its deregistration, and orders the Charities Board to reconsider its move against the group. It follows a similar appeal won by Greenpeace NZ last August after the Charities Board ruled its purposes, like those of the family advocates, primarily “political” rather than “charitable”.However, a majority of the Supreme Court in the Greenpeace case ruled that an organisation with charitable purposes could also have political purposes, depending on the objectives being advocated and the means used to promote those objectives.Greenpeace and Family First make unusual bedfellows but taken together their appeals amount to a breakthrough for many charitable groups, as FFNZ national director Bob McCoskrie pointed out:“This decision is a victory for the many charitable groups – both registered, deregistered and wanting to be registered – who advocate for their causes, beliefs, and supporters and often have to engage in political activity, not always through choice but through necessity. It is a victory for open robust debate on issues that affect families.”(Among the currently registered are groups that opposed FFNZ during the gay marriage debate – without incurring the displeasure of the Charities Board.)In his decision Justice Collins said that the Charities Board should take into account the Greenpeace ruling – and his own – when deciding FFNZ’s status, and should not be influenced by whether or not board members actually like the family group’s views (as, clearly, they do not):[87] In this respect, I believe there is force to the submissions of Mr McKenzie QC, counsel for Family First. He argued that Family First’s purposes of advocating its conception of the traditional family is analogous to organisations that have advocated for the “mental and moral improvement” of society.[88] In recognising the strength of Mr McKenzie’s submission, I am not suggesting the Charities Board must accept Family First’s purposes are for the benefit of the public when it reconsiders Family First’s case.I am saying, however, that the analogical analysis which the Charities Board must undertake should be informed by examining whether Family First’s activities are objectively directed at promoting the moral improvement of society. This exercise should not be conflated with a subjective assessment of the merits of Family First’s views. Members of the Charities Board may personally disagree with the views of Family First, but at the same time recognise there is a legitimate analogy between its role and those organisations that have been recognised as charities. Such an approach would be consistent with the obligation on members of the Charities Board to act with honesty, integrity and in good faith.45The refusal of the Charities Board to review their decision against Family First straight after the Greenpeace case seems to indicate something other than good faith.“It is disappointing that it took a Judge to remind the Charities Board to recognise the precedent set in the Greenpeace case. When the Greenpeace case was decided, we asked the Charities Board to reconsider their decision to deregister us, but they refused to. This has cost both Family First and the taxpayer thousands of dollars in legal fees,” says Mr McCoskrie.“When a group who promotes the natural family as a fundamental social unit is deemed of ‘no public benefit’, you know a country is in deep trouble. The original decision to deregister Family First during the recent marriage debate was a highly politicised one.” http://www.mercatornet.com/conjugality/view/family-advocacy-can-be-political-and-charitable-rules-new-zealand-jud/16438last_img read more

Marlins’ Jose Fernandez won’t face Dodgers, may need Tommy John surgery

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The 21-year-old, considered one of the game’s best young pitchers, has been clocked throwing as fast as 100 mph.“He’s not a guy that’s fun to face or easy for anybody,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “On the other side, you don’t want a guy to be hurt. He’s good for our game. We all want to see this be a minor thing.”The Marlins recalled left-handed reliever Dan Jennings from Triple-A to take Fernandez’s roster spot. Manager Mike Redmond mentioned left-hander Brad Hand and right-hander Kevin Slowey as possibilities to start Wednesday’s game. Miami could also recall a starting pitcher from the minor leagues.“We’re going to take every precaution necessary,” Redmond said. “He said he had discomfort, so we immediately are going to give him treatment and the rest that he needs. Hopefully he just has to take a little bit of a break. Obviously, you’re always concerned (if a pitcher needs Tommy John surgery) when you talk about an elbow. But that’s something we have to wait to find out.”The Dodgers haven’t seen much of Hand in the past. Justin Turner has one hit in three career at-bats against the left-hander, Yasiel Puig is 1 for 1 and Dee Gordon and Chone Figgins are both 0 for 1 in their careers against Hand. Slowey has been rather miserable against the Dodgers in his career. Scott Van Slyke (1 for 1), Turner (1 for 3), Miguel Olivo (1 for 1, HR), Matt Kemp (1 for 3), Adrian Gonzalez (1 for 6), Andre Ethier (1 for 4) and Carl Crawford (1 for 3) all have hits against the right-hander.Paul Maholm is scheduled to start Wednesday for the Dodgers.Ellis set to returnDodgers catcher A.J. Ellis caught six innings for Triple-A Albuquerque and will return to Los Angeles today. Ellis, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee five weeks ago today, can be activated from the 15-day disabled list at any time.In two rehab games with the Isotopes, Ellis went 2 for 5 with a walk and a home run. Monday, Ellis went 1 for 3 with a two-run home run in the fifth inning against the El Paso Chihuahuas. It was the first home run ever to clear Southwest University Park’s 35-foot wall in left field.Mattingly said Sunday that the Dodgers won’t carry three catchers once Ellis is activated from the DL. That means that either Miguel Olivo or Drew Butera, neither of whom can be optioned to the minor leagues, is likely to be designated for assignment. The other will remain as Ellis’ backup. Butera entered Monday’s game with a .227 batting average and got the catching assignment. Olivo entered the game riding an 0-for-11 streak that dropped his average to .217.AlsoMattingly said prior to the game that third baseman Juan Uribe will not need to be placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Uribe took infield and batting practice for the first time since suffering the injury. … Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) played long toss and threw to a crouching catcher from flat ground for the second day.center_img The Dodgers don’t know who their opposing starter will be Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, but it won’t be Jose Fernandez.The Miami Marlins’ misery greatly overshadows the Dodgers’ uncertainty. Fernandez, the reigning National League rookie of the year, has a sprained ligament in his right elbow. In a worst-case scenario, he will need season-ending Tommy John surgery.Fernandez met with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday in Los Angeles and flew back to Miami for a second opinion from Dr. Lee Kaplan, the Marlins’ medical director. According to multiple reports Monday, the team is bracing for the worst-case scenario.Fernandez is 4-2 with a 2.44 earned-run average and an MLB-best 70 strikeouts this season. He is believed to have suffered the sprain in his most recent start, Friday in San Diego, when the right-hander uncharacteristically was shelled for six runs in five innings.last_img read more