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Long-time MPs change colours to rainbow

Aug 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

By James Vernon and Cameron Russell

LABOUR MP Louisa Wall’s bill on legalising same-sex marriage took a big step when Parliament voted 80-40 in favour of the change on Wednesday.

More than half of the National Party voted in favour of the Bill, introduced by the Labour member who was grateful for the support of 1000 people who rallied at Parliament on Wednesday.

“The march was amazing, it was a beautiful diverse group of people young and old from all backgrounds marching in solidarity and it made me really proud,” says Ms Wall, left.

She knows some people will always be against the Bill, but says homosexuality needs to be accepted.

“It’s a state people are born into, and this bill is so they have an open honest and transparent life and a general acceptance.”

Parliament Speaker Dr Lockwood Smith and Act Party leader John Banks, who voted in favour of the Bill, were part of the National Party in 1986 who voted against decriminalising homosexual behaviour.

However both now favour the legalisation of gay marriage.

Mr Banks, right, said time was a factor in changing his mind.

“It’s been nearly 30 years and that’s a very long time, so it’s a gradual thing,” he says.

Dr Smith told Newswire as Speaker he felt it was not appropriate to comment on his new stance.

Trevor Mallard, was one of 30 Labour MPs who voted yes, and he also voted in favour of decriminalizing homosexual behaviour back in 1986.

Mr Mallard believes MPs have changed their views along with the New Zealand public in the last few decades.

“I think many more New Zealanders support reform now than 25 years ago and therefore some of my colleagues feel they are representing their constituents’ changed views.

“Gay and lesbian people have been more open and accepted over the last 25 years – our society has become much more tolerant.”

Wednesday’s vote was a conscience vote for all MPs.

However the Greens, Maori Party, United Future and Mana all voted in favour of the Bill, while all eight members of NZ First voted against.

The vote means the Bill will now be referred to a parliamentary committee for consideration and public input before its second and third readings. The individual voting on the bill was:

FOR: 80

National – 30 Amy Adams, Chris Auchinvole, Maggie Barry, Paula Bennett, Jackie Blue, Gerry Brownlee, Cam Calder, David Carter, Jonathan Coleman, Judith Collins, Jacqui Dean, Craig Foss, Paul Goldsmith, Jo Goodhew, Tim Groser, Tau Henare, Paul Hutchison, Steven Joyce, Nikki Kaye, John Key, Murray McCully, Ian McKelvie, Hekia Parata, Jami-Lee Ross, Scott Simpson, Lockwood Smith, Chris Tremain, Nicky Wagner, Kate Wilkinson and Maurice Williamson.

Labour – 30 Jacinda Ardern, Charles Chauvel, David Clark, Clayton Cosgrove, David Cunliffe, Clare Curran, Lianne Dalziel, Ruth Dyson, Kris Faafoi, Darien Fenton, Phil Goff, Chris Hipkins, Parekura Horomia, Shane Jones, Annette King, Iain Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Moana Mackey, Nanaia Mahuta, Trevor Mallard, Sue Moroney, David Parker, Rajen Prasad, Grant Robertson, David Shearer, Maryan Street, Rino Tirikatene, Phil Twyford, Louisa Wall and Megan Woods.

Act – 1 John Banks.

Green – 14 Steffan Browning, Kennedy Graham, David Clendon, Catherine Delahunty, Julie Anne Genter, Kevin Hague, Gareth Hughes, Jan Logie, Mojo Mathers, Russel Norman, Denise Roche, Eugenie Sage, Metiria Turei and Holly Walker.

United Future – 1 Peter Dunne.

Maori Party – 3 Te Ururoa Flavell, Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.

Mana – 1 Hone Harawira.

AGAINST: 40

National – 29 Shane Ardern, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, David Bennett, Chester Borrows, Simon Bridges, Bill English, Christopher Finlayson, Nathan Guy, John Hayes, Phil Heatley, Colin King, Melissa Lee, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Todd McClay, Mark Mitchell, Alfred Ngaro, Simon O’Connor, Eric Roy, Tony Ryall, Mike Sabin, Katrina Shanks, Nick Smith, Lindsay Tisch, Anne Tolley, Louise Upston, Michael Woodhouse, Jian Yang and Jonathan Young.

Labour – 3 Damien O’Connor, Ross Robertson and Su’a William Sio.

NZ First – 8 Brendan Horan, Asenati Lole-Taylor, Tracey Martin, Denis O’Rourke, Winston Peters, Richard Prosser, Barbara Stewart and Andrew Williams.

 

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