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Call for calm as Porirua debates marriage bill

Aug 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

A call for tolerance in Porirua has been made ahead of a Porirua City Council debate the Marriage Amendment Bill tomorrow.

Councillor Litea ah Hoi began a post today on the Porirua Facebook page calling for calm tomorrow.

“I have no doubt there will be a lot of emotion, religious and biblical themes, mockery, unwarranted and unfair statements made or said.

“Remember, at the end of the day, these people are human beings like you and I, despite their creed, race, color, ethnicity and/or sexual preference!”

 A Porirua City councillor has placed the following notice of motion on the council’s agenda for tomorrow morning: Marriage available to all New Zealanders regardless of sexual orientation.

Notice of Motion #799448 proposed by Councillor Coffey

Councillor ’Ana Coffey says the Council should stand behind its community in the debate of legalising gay marriage in New Zealand, .

 While council has no say in the bill, Cr Coffey says it is the council’s job to represent their community.

“Most of our community support gay marriage and equality,” says Cr Coffey.

Although having a Christian background, Cr Coffey believes gay people are often marginalised, and suffer from hate crimes and violence.

“Marriage equality is a small issue in the big scheme of things, but one small achievement is to recognise gays as part of the community.”

She says Mana-based MPs Hekia Parata, Kris Fa’afoi and Jan Logie support the bill.

Jan Logie says she supports it not only because it is her party’s policy, but also because as a lesbian she feels it is her community that’s feeling discriminated against.

“It’s really tough to be young and questioning your sexuality. Young people feel judged. We should tell them we value them.”

Porirua residents have responded to a Facebook post on the Porirua page, by Newswire asking their opinion, and at the time of publishing most were in full support of the bill.

Debbie Keating says: “In the end it shouldn’t matter if you choose to love someone of the same gender. It all comes down to what’s important to you.”

Andrea Creighton says: “There’s too much ‘us’ and ‘them’ in this world. Gay people are asking for equal rights to profess love for their significant other by marriage.”

Councillor Fa’amatuainu Wayne Poutoa would not be drawn on what he would say at tomorrow’s council meeting, but says the bill is only one interpretation of the community.

“A lot don’t support it,” he says.

 He says he is expecting half of Porirua to show up in support or to oppose the bill.

“It’s going to be very exciting, I’m looking forward to discussing it tomorrow.”

Cr Poutoa is supported by a comment on Facebook by Glen Toni Robinson.

“I don’t believe in same-sex marriage. I don’t morally believe it’s right.”

Mr Robinson however thinks that regardless of what the community thinks the council has already decided which way it will go.

“Some of our councillors seem to be going into the debate with their own personal minds made up and are not listening to those that elected them to speak for us.”

St Barnabas Plimmerton Minister Richard McLean says that this debate is one that society has to have.

As a Christian he believes that the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman and that is how it should stay.

“It is not for us to redefine what marriage is. The majority of churches oppose the bill, but there’s a minority within churches which support it.”

He says New Zealand as a country which is open to culture and accepting different cultures, but marriage should be kept as it is.

Royal Wakefeild says a common ground needs to be found.

He stated on the Facebook post: “Whichever way it goes down, the losing side will become a new problem. I’m trying to see if there’s an answer to satisfy both sides.”

“People from different walks of life can never have the same views.”

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