PM keeping mum over gay marriage bill
Fri, 27 Jul 2012 6:19p.m.
By Tova O’Brien
The Prime Minister won't say whether he'll support a bill allowing same sex marriage beyond its first reading, but says most of his MPs are likely to vote against it.
A leader in the gay marriage movement says it should not be this controversial, as the choice doesn't take anything away from anyone else.
When Evan Wolfson married his partner last year after New York legalised gay marriage, it was a personal and political milestone for the couple.
“Marriage is not about telling any church or temple or synagogue or mosque what they have to do, that’s up to them," he says. "This is about who gets a civil marriage from the Government and is able to enter into the legal union of marriage with all the respect all of us are due.”
Mr Wolfson is known as the father of the gay marriage movement in the United States. He has met with Barack Obama over the issue, and the US president seems to be in favour of gay marriage.
“I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Mr Obama said.
Soon after that, John Key also said he wasn't against gay marriage - though he had opposed civil unions at the behest of his electorate.
Mr Key says he will support a bill allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry to its first reading, but he won't say what he will do after that.
“Probably my electorate would be opposed to gay marriage. I might just decide to make my own mind up on it.”
But Mr Wolfson does not understand why there are any problems.
“It really doesn't need to be so controversial because this is not taking anything away from anyone else.”
Marriage is sacred to Christianity, but when it comes to who should be allowed to exchange vows, the church is divided.
Catholic priest Merv Duffy says homophobia is sinful and silly, but he doesn't want marriage redefined.
“To make babies you need a mother and a father and the best environment for raising children is with their genetic parents living together in love and commitment.”
Margaret Mayman is an Presbyterian reverend in a same-sex relationship and she says it's not up to the church.
“It's wrong for churches to project their views of what marriage is onto a secular society where there's diverse religions, including a huge diversity within Christianity itself."
Regardless of party, each MP will vote for themselves on the same sex marriage bill.
Many National MPs won't say which way they're leaning. It's likely they're watching for the Prime Minister's next move - and he says most will vote against it.
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30/07/2012 11:12:13 a.m.
Craig Young wrote:
Furthermore, if New Zealand follows the recent Canadian Bountiful case in British Columbia, which refused to decriminalise polygamy in that Canadian jurisdiction, we will have little to worry about. Heterosexual polygamy carries the risk of spousal violence and child sexual abuse of female child brides. Same-sex marriage does not.
29/07/2012 1:01:26 p.m.
"Bob", are you in fact Bob McCoskrie of the fundamentalist pressure group Family First? If so, shouldn't you acknowledge that?Polygamy is illegal under New Zealand law, as is child sexual abuse. We are talking about a monogamous relationship between two adults of the same sex in this context, and nothing else.
28/07/2012 3:29:57 p.m.
Homosexuals say they should be able to marry who they love. But why is this true? What if a person wants to marry someone who is already married, or is a child? Should that person be allowed to marry someone because it is an issue of love? Of course not. Love is not the measure of marriage validity. There are other issues, so to say that homosexuals should be able to marry whoever they love is a misrepresentation of the issue.
28/07/2012 10:25:45 a.m.
Except that fellow Commonwealth nations like Canada or the United Kingdom have either already introduced it, or are about to do so. There is no good reason not to permit same-sex marriage, and the shallowness of antigay excuses is already apparent.
28/07/2012 12:10:48 a.m.
What utter rubbish... its prejudice stopping this law... deep ingrained homophobia.
There is no logical reason why this shouldnt happen.
Other than petty hatred from petty morons.
27/07/2012 11:09:47 p.m.
Primarily because our Prime Minister is a known bigot.
Look at the teapot scandal and how disparaging his remarks were towards the elderly, look at the comments he has made with paula Bennett about beneficiaries.
National has and always will be full of petty bigots... nothing will change that... its extremely typical in a right wing party.
27/07/2012 9:44:07 p.m.
David M wrote:
There is quite simply no good reason to permit same sex marriage, and frankly it seems John Key realises that. Hopefully as the issue goes before a select committee the paucity of sound reasons for change will become evident.
27/07/2012 7:28:04 p.m.
If British Conservative PM David Cameron can commit himself to unambiguously support same-sex marriage, why can't our Prime Minister?
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