Peters calls for gay marriage referendum 31 July 2012
NZ First leader Winston Peters has called for a referendum on gay marriage, but declined to say how he would vote on one. Peters this afternoon said the eight New Zealand First MPs had agreed not to support the bill for “marriage equality” being promoted by Labour MP Louisa Wall. “We will not be voting for this bill, we will argue for a referendum and we believe there should be enough members of parliament who have got confidence in the public of this country to trust the public to decide this issue after reasonable debate,” Peters said. However, he indicated he would make no contribution to any debate over gay marriage, saying his views on the matter were “irrelevant”. The public should be left to decide on the issue “rather than have people try to twist the public debate with their personal view,” Peters said. “Look at the record of parliamentarians on important social issues – they’re all over the place,” he said

Gay marriage vote could come down to the wire
NZ Herald 31 July 2012
Labour Party MP Louisa Wall is close to securing the support to legalise same-sex marriage, a Herald poll of MPs shows. However, many MPs were refusing to commit to a decision on the marriage equality bill, and the final vote could come down to the wire. A straw poll of all 121 MPs found that fifty-four MPs have indicated they would support it at least in its early stages, or were considering supporting it. The bill, which was expected to come before Parliament in late August, needed 61 votes to pass. New Zealand First this afternoon indicated that it might abstain from the vote, because it preferred to put the issue to a public referendum. This would mean the bill would need 57 votes to pass. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said: “Serious issues like this should be decided by the public of this country and not a few temporary empowered politicians.” But he would not give a straight answer when asked to confirm whether his party would opt out of voting. “We are not voting for it. We believe it should be by way of a public referendum.”

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