Cross-party support for Marriage Equality Bill
Louisa Wall | Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 18:42
A Select Committee report commending the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill to Parliament today is being welcomed by members of the Labour, National and Green Parties.
Cross-party collaboration saw the Bill pass its First Reading 80-40, and MPs have continued to work across party lines to progress the Bill.
Labour MP and sponsor of the Bill, Louisa Wall said she was thrilled that the Government Administration Select Committee had given such a strong endorsement to her Bill.
“I especially want to thank Committee Chair, Ruth Dyson, and Deputy Chair, Chris Auchinvole for their hard work. The Committee's recommended changes will ensure that freedom from discrimination and freedom of religion can be equally protected.
National MP Tau Henare said equality of opportunity was a value that is supported by many in National.
“It is great to be able to support a Bill that realises equality of opportunity for all New Zealanders as this one does."
Green Party MP Kevin Hague, who sat on the Select Committee, said that the process had been extraordinarily powerful, with strong and sincerely held views being expressed both for and against the Bill.
“I particularly want to thank all those people who came forward to tell their personal stories, even if it was painful to do so. Their experience hugely improved the Committee’s understanding of how the law will affect ordinary people. It’s such a rare and welcome opportunity to be able to support a measure that will bring benefit to so many, while harming nobody.
The three MPs said they had enjoyed working together on the Bill and would continue to do so until it was passed. The second reading of the Bill is expected on March 13th.