By 3 News online staff
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has waded into the gay marriage debate, saying it is "not intelligent to pretend that homosexual relationships are normal".
Mr Craig, made the comments on his Twitter account this morning. It is his first post on the micro-blogging service since early June.
Mr Craig – a Christian – has previously called gay marriage "social engineering".
“It is important that marriage remains between a man and a woman,” says Mr Craig.
“This is not an issue of rights; it’s an issue of respect. Respect for the many stakeholders in what marriage means.
"A tiny minority want to change the rules of the game to suit themselves, and that isn’t right,” he says.
Despite his opposition to gay marriage, Mr Craig says he supports a referendum on the issue.
"New Zealanders are not essentially liberals, and if there was a referendum on this issue I am confident we would see the people vote to stop this bill becoming law," says Mr Craig.
In May, Mr Craig said the Government should stay "out of the bedrooms of the country".
"The marriage institution being a relationship between a man and a woman predates government," he said. "It is not the job of government to start re-defining marriage."
"New Zealand has had enough social engineering; it's time to bring government back to core services."