Anti-gay marriage petition launched
Protectmarriage.org.nz asks visitors to the site to sign a petition if they "support the definition of marriage being maintained as one man one woman" (AAP)
A New Zealand anti-gay marriage petition and website has been launched as debate over the issue heats up.
Protectmarriage.org.nz asks visitors to the site to sign a petition if they "support the definition of marriage being maintained as one man one woman" and oppose any attempt to redefine this. This evening just four people had signed it.
The website appears to have been created jointly by Family First, the National Marriage Coalition, Family Life and Focus on the Family.
The site offers resources and information about marriage including The Argument for Preserving Marriage in a Nutshell and 21 Reasons Why Marriage Matters.
This comes after Labour MP Louisa Wall's marriage equality bill was pulled from Parliament's ballot, with its first reading expected within weeks.
It's not yet clear whether the bill will have the numbers to pass its first reading, with many MPs saying they're yet to make up their minds on how they'll cast their conscience vote.
The Catholic Diocese of Auckland is opposed to the bill, and wants MPs to "keep marriage as defined as between a man and a woman", as civil unions are available to gay couples.
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig failed to make it into parliament at last year's election, but he's not shying away from the debate, on Thursday tweeting: "It's just not intelligent to pretend that homosexual relationships are normal".
The bill is likely to also enable gay couples to adopt, which Mr Craig also opposes.
On the other side of the debate is Wellington church St Andrews on The Terrace.
Reverend Margaret Mayman says the church is delighted the bill has been drawn, and hopes it will become law.
She says it is likely St Andrews will make a submission supporting the bill, if it is sent to a select committee, as it did on civil unions.