Marriage equality bill loses public support

TVNZ 10 Mar 2013
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says that public support for Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill is slipping. Labour MP Wall’s bid to legalise same sex marriage passed its first reading at the end of August last year, with 80 MPs voting for and 40 voting against it. However, Craig told TV ONE’s Q A today that public support is shifting in the direction of traditional marriage. “Public support is moving not because people want to deny anybody anything, but we recognise we already made that provision. “This is a rushed process. New Zealanders were denied the right to speak,” he said. In response, Wall argued that it is a “standard process” and still hopes she will get enough votes from MPs to pass the bill through its second reading.

Wall: Gay marriage bill will allow choice
NZ Herald 10 Mar 2013
A bill to legalise same-sex marriage would not force celebrants to marry gay couples if they didn’t want to, its sponsor says. But Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says the bill will not protect the rights of all celebrants who do not wish to marry same-sex couples. A select committee last month recommended changing the bill to make it clear that no celebrant recognised by a religious body or nominated by an approved organisation would have to marry a couple if it meant contravening their own or the organisation’s beliefs. Critics say that would cover only about a third of celebrants and the rest, who are not linked to a religious organisation, will not be covered. Mr Craig told TVNZ’s Q+A programme today that the select committee had ignored advice to explicitly cover all celebrants. “At the moment, the proposed amendment only protects 32 per cent of celebrants. The other 68 you’re hanging out to dry,” he said. Mr Craig called on the Government to guarantee the rights of all celebrants. “Why not put that in law?”

…A legal opinion from Auckland barrister Ian Bassett, prepared for conservative lobby group Family First, noted 32 per cent of celebrants were linked to religious organisations. He said the bill would interfere with people’s rights to act according to their beliefs and consciences.

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