An anti-gay marriage petition in New Zealand has reached nearly 20,000 signature, but many names are fakes.
Although most of the signatures appear genuine, a scroll through the names reveals many are not: Donald Duck, Waylon Smithers (a character from The Simpsons) Amanda Huginkiss, Go F Uck-Yourself, Knob End, two Quentin Crisps, Jesus Christ and im gay.
The petition is on the ProtectMarriage.org.nz website that was set up in response to a same-sex marriage bill drawn in a Members Bill Ballot on 26 July. Soon after it was launched, the site was hacked and taken down.
‘There is plenty of debate to “go under the bridge” yet on marriage – and politicians would be wise to hear both sides of the debate before making any final decisions,’ said Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, one of the groups behind the website.
‘Marriage is too important to be based on catch-phrases of “equality” or “rights” without considering the long-term consequences of playing with definitions.'
As well as being hacked, the Protect Marriage website got into trouble on the day it was launched by using a song by US band Train on its homepage. Train demanded the song be taken down and released a statement that said:
“It was upsetting to us that Marry Me, a love song with no boundaries, was being used to promote an agenda we don't subscribe to. We (Train) take the idea of marriage very seriously, and believe it is the right of all consenting adults, regardless of sexual orientation. Marry Me is about just that, finding that special love and making it last forever. Everyone should be allowed to have that.”
A poll in June showed that public support for gay marriage in New Zealand was at 63% and a survey of MPs last week showed that there were enough to support the same-sex marriage bill at first reading.