Gay bill: Another step forward

NZ Herald 14 May 2013
Same-sex marriage campaigners say the overwhelming support for the bill at its second hurdle is a ringing endorsement which shows MPs are in line with the views of ordinary New Zealanders. Labour MP Louisa Wall’s bill passed its second reading last night 77 votes to 44, a drop in support of three votes from the first reading.

….Conservative lobby group Family First this morning said it would continue to oppose the bill.

“It is hugely concerning that the politicians failed to grasp some critical consequences of changing the definition of marriage,” national director Bob McCoskrie said.

He said there was almost no discussion at the second reading about the bill’s impact on adoption law.

Redefining marriage would allow same-sex partners to adopt as a couple, which Mr McCoskrie said was a change that was being “snuck under the door”.

Mr McCoskrie also voiced concerns that independent celebrants could be coerced into marrying same-sex couples.

The bill allows celebrants who are part of religious organisations to decline marrying same-sex couples, but does not extend that to independent celebrants.

Mr McCoskrie said it was highly ironic that the Greens and Labour were determined to have a referendum on asset sales but would not allow one on marriage.

An attempt by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to delay the law change, until a referendum could be held at the 2014 general election, was voted down by a margin of 83 votes to 33.

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