MP’s gay marriage stance “personal”

Wanganui Chronicle 5 Sep 2012
Whanganui MP Chester Borrows’ decision to vote against the gay marriage bill was a personal one, and not that of his constituents.

Mr Borrows was among 40 MP’s to vote against Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill, which passed its first reading with 80 votes in favour on August 31.

Mr Borrows said as a conscience vote, his stance reflected his personal opinion.

MP’s should make themselves available to their constituents to express their views, and he had been acquainted with the Whanganui electorate long enough that they should should know how he would feel about issues like this, he said.

Over a 10-day period, Mr Borrows said he received about 200 emails a day on the bill, some of which were “quite vitriolic”, 🙁 from both supporters and detractors of the bill.

However, only a fraction of the emails were identifiably from people within the Whanganui electorate. The majority were sent to all MPs via a Family First website, so it was impossible to discern where they originated from, but he responded to those clearly from Wanganui, he said.

After the vote, Mr Borrows said he got up to another 600 emails thanking him for his vote. The bill is now to be considered by a select committee, before facing two further votes before it can pass in to law.

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