Can we trust the new Prime Minister?
One useful insight into the degree of social liberalism or social conservatism that English and other National leadership candidates display is Family First's candidate value-your-vote guide. Of course, in terms of our own preferences, we'd reverse the 'negative' ratings that the Christian Right pressure group has allocated to each candidate.
From this perspective, English was, unsurprisingly, the worst of the possible candidates from our perspective. He opposed civil unions, the Statutory Recognition relationship equality bill that was in tandem with it, supported a pre-emptive ban bill against marriage equality, supported service provider discrimination against same-sex married couples, and opposed marriage equality itself.
As for the alternative, unsuccessful, leadership candidates, Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman are half as dire as this, opposing civil unions and relationship equality reforms, as well as voting for the preemptive ban bill.
However, when it came to actual marriage equality, Collins voted for it, while Coleman opposed it. However, Collins also opposed service provider discrimination and a referendum against marriage equality. By contrast, Coleman supported that same referendum against marriage equality. Unexpectedly, Collins does 'better' than her two male front-runner colleagues on this score.
Of the deputy leadership contenders, Bennett's only blot on her legislative record is voting for the preemptive ban bill against marriage equality in 2005, as she then voted for marriage equality, opposed service provider discrimination amendments and opposed a referendum against marriage equality while she wasn't in Parliament for civil union debates.
Therefore, from the perspective of an LGBT voter, Paula Bennett would be the best deputy leadership choice. Unfortunately, having been given commendation from the erstwhile leader, John Key, and much of his caucus Bill English is about to walk into the leadership role. One might wish otherwise.
Family First: The Next PM: How Have They Voted on "Family" Issues:
Craig Young - 10th December 2016