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Legislation draws line, changes MP hearts

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

The future of the new marriage equality bill will be decided in Parliament this evening.

The bill was placed in the private members ballot box by Labour MP Louisa Wall, and its progress into Parliament has evoked a range of emotions from New Zealanders and their elected leaders.

It is a conscience vote of party MPs, with only the Greens, Mana, and United Future throwing their full party support behind it.

National and Labour MPs are divided in how to cast their vote. 

Family First, a leading anti-legislation source, has released a list of parliamentary members who previously voted against the Civil Union Act in 2005.

It is aimed to show who among the named are current National MPs.

The list includes Ministers Bill English, Judith Collins, Anne Tolley, Paula Bennett and 24 more.

Prime Minister John Key has told 3 News he believes 12 or 13 of his 58 MPs will back the bill’s first reading.

16 of Labours 34 MPs are also expected to vote in favour.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters thinks that the public should call for a referendum.

The party had considered abstaining from the vote because of that.

However its eight MPs had decided to vote against it, as abstaining could tip the balance in favour of passing the bill.

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig caused an outcry with his comments on the television show The Nation earlier this month.

When discussing the bill with Louisa Wall he said that homosexually was a choice, and that statistics show many same-sex couples were raised in a violent home.

“For homosexuals, they are statistically far more likely to have suffered child abuses as a child… It certainly can make a difference in someone’s choices in life, there’s no question about that in my mind.”

The New Zealand Herald reported on Monday that Finance Minister Bill English is still undecided, along with 13 other National MPs who voted against the Civil Union Bill in 2004.

The public has been surprised by ACT Party leader John Banks’ support for the bill.

He opposed the Civil Union Bill and in 1986 he said the Homosexual Law Reform Act was a “sad and sickening day in New Zealand”.

3 News said on Monday that the combined youth parties of Labour, National, ACT, Greens and Mana have all called for their respective parties to pass Ms Walls’ bill.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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