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Parliament: second reading of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride in [00:00:04] It's a copy of the New Zealand parliamentary broadcast, which has been lightly edited to remove extended gaps and proceedings. [00:00:11] honorable members [00:00:13] on air call on members order of the day. Number three, [00:00:18] marriage definition of marriage amendment bill secondary then [00:00:24] I call the honorable member lovisa will turn away [00:00:28] to the Mr. Speaker Tina photopass. Or I move that the marriage definition of marriage amendment will be now read a second time, Mr. Speaker, and this second reading debate. I want to focus on value, the value the regard the importance or preciousness that every person should feel as a New Zealand citizen. During the debate on this bill, a number of us have been expressed about a person's value. I've been moved by the deeper feeling of those affected by the best Those who will be able to choose whether they access a social institution. They are currently prohibited from making season for no reason other than sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. The feeling of being excluded of being a second class citizen of being outside the normal parameters of society proliferate amongst our community, but we are normal and we are entitled to the same rights as every other citizen. The issue of coming out of being true to who you are, is difficult enough for any person. The discussion around this Phil has emphasized how real the discrimination is. The agony and hardship that so many who have bravely made submissions hate to face as unreasonable. But what's totally unacceptable as the state perpetuating the agony and hardship by not issuing marriage licenses to loving consenting and eligible non HIV transsexual couples. This film is about marriage equality. It's not about gay marriage, same sex marriage or straight marriage. It's about marriage between two people. There is no distinction to be made, that is equality. Whether the form of that marriage is religious, secular or cultural, as a measure for the couple determine, denying marriage to a person as to devalue that person's right to participate fully, and all that life offers. It's essentially not recognizing someone as a person. No state has the right to do that. To deny trans people and to six lesbian and gay people the right to marry is to deny them recognition as a person. opponents to this bill are essentially assuming that non heterosexuals are not equal people, and therefore are not entitled to the same rights as other people. Is that Bishop Desmond? To seed when being sworn in as the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996. A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons, almost 20 years later and assuming in London in 2004, Archbishop Tutu expressed his wish to reverse some justice by ending the persecution of people because of the sexual orientation, which he described as every bit as unjust is that crime against humanity? apartheid, he stated, and I quote, for me the struggle as a seamless robe. Opposing apartheid was a measure of justice, opposing discrimination against women as a measure of justice, opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a measure of justice. It is also a measure of love. Every human being is precious. We are all all of us, part of God's family. We all must be allowed to love each other with honor. Each all over the world. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people are persecuted. We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God. This must be nearly the ultimate place for me to blame them for what they are. At spreadsheet, two twos logic and reasoning is compelling. It's the same logic and reason that should guide us all in this house when we vote on this issue. [00:04:33] To most people marriage is an institution characterized by positivity. It's about love, commitment and family. No sector of society has the right to claim ownership of marriage and determine the perception and practice of marriage as the only acceptable way. Marriage belongs to society as a whole. And it requires the involvement of the whole of society, the role of the state And marriage is to issue a license to two people who love each other and want to commit to one another formerly, that's what this bill does. To be valued for who we are as the bare minimum we should expect from others. It's the bare minimum we should expect from the stage. For me, it's what I would expect from a church. But that will be along the journey, and one that each denomination and church community will determine in their own time. The state's position is that all human beings are equal citizens in the law protects various aspects of a person's identity, including these six, sexual orientation, age, color, and race. These are fundamental aspects of our identity with which we are born. The Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights Act extends the protections beyond these a night speaks to members of status and belief. I've always been clear that I'm pursuing marriage policy I will defend the rights of those and churches to practice the religion on tunes that they consider reflect the beliefs, freedom of religion as an individual right. And I support the Select committee's recommendation to strengthen section 29 of the Act to make it clear that there is no compulsion for a minister to perform a marriage that he or she does not feel comfortable about. Section 29 protects all celebrants attempts by opponents in the last week to limit the protection only to those listed in the amendment is totally misleading. the select committee amendment is clear. The specific amendment that refers to organizational celebrants begins with the words without limiting the generality of subsection one. The general protection and section 29 remains in place and applies to all celebrants to read it any other ways disingenuous. Exercising freedom of religion Maine's religious groups view marriages exclusive. That's the reality of freedom of religion. And it's my intention to recognize that freedom and therefore allow that discrimination to continue for as long as religious leaders in specific denominations choose. But in return, I would ask that churches consider the rights of the LGBT community with love, compassion and reason. My bill is one steep and will allow members of the LGBT community to participate in the civil and state institution of marriage. Some church leaders have embraced that step and I'm hopeful that time will see a change in the attitude and practices of other church members. I do have hope that churches will move towards an inclusive approach to marriage. Last October, the General Assembly of the New Zealand Presbyterian church pastor motion opposing this bill, but an attempt to Pass emotion that the ministers could only conduct a marriage between a man and a woman was lost. That's a positive step, and will allow ministers like Reverend Dr. Margaret mayman from St. Andrews on the tourists who submitted both personally and professionally to fulfill her desire to be able to offer same sex couples. The same option is different six couples faders to marry or have a civil union. I want to recognize and thank the members of the government administration select committee who have read and listened to the many submissions received. The report is reasoned and compassionate and recognizing the positions taken by those in favor in those against and focusing on value. I'm drawn to the lyrics of American musician being heyget a beating on as Michael Moore and his song, same love and I can't change even if I tried Even if I wanted to, I can't change. And I'm voting on this bill. I hope the house will give a message to all young people. You don't have to change. You can be who you are, and we as a society will value who you are here. Can I [00:09:29] just remind members in the gallery [00:09:30] that you're in Parliament and the policy for the members of parliament not [00:09:35] for members in the gallery? There will be no, [00:09:38] there'll be no comments at all. [00:09:43] I call the honorable member [00:09:44] Tim McIndoe as the Speaker. [00:09:48] I rise having been a replacement member of the government Administration Committee during the final stages of the committee's work, although I regret that I did not hear the many submitters prior to the committee's deliberations now. So I have read and considered as many submissions as I could. And I have had numerous meetings with constituents and interested parties, especially in my own electorate and Hamilton. Many urged me to maintain my voice at first reading against the bill. Quite a few urged me to change it. In recent days, both sides of the debate have flooded my inbox with emails, a common theme of many emails from the bills supporters, given that my Christian faith was and remains the main reason for my position was that as as a secular society, and my faith should be left out of the debate. I understand that view. But in matters of conscience, one must fall back on firm foundations to ignore what I perceived to be God's will and this debate would therefore be unthinkable even though I acknowledged that not all Christians think is one in this matter. And I agree with Glenn Carpenter in the New Zealand Christian network, that Christians must approach this matter graciously. And with respect I hope those who have contacted me, whatever they have us believe that I have achieved that. Even so even though I have to say I haven't always received the same in return. [00:11:11] New Zealand may [00:11:12] indeed be a secular society. But marriage has historically been a religious institution for Christians, and most of the many other religions now represented with followers in New Zealand. For that reason, this method is causing huge distress too many. And it is quite wrong to say that changing the definition of the word won't affect anyone else. Christians, for example, belief that marriage was instituted of God Himself, signifying the mystical union between Christ and His Church. It may be some may be convenient for some to argue, therefore, that the change of the definition has no greater impact on others, but if it knows and the fans 10s of thousands of New Zealanders who think otherwise. Last year, I indicated that a principal raises For my opposition was my concern that parliament is moving ahead of the churches on this issue. I remain very concerned about that, as I believe some of the division that this bill has caused within society in recent months could have been avoided if the churches could reach an accommodation, probably based on the French model whereby all couples undergo a civil wedding, after which those who wish to enter meet the criteria of the appropriate church may then also have a religious wedding ceremony. I think many more in our country could live with this. While this wouldn't satisfy all who oppose the bill, and the idea wasn't considered apparently because it was beyond the scope of the bill. My personal view is that such a division between the functions of church and state might have achieved much wider public acceptance and some of the hurt that many thousands of the bills of pilots are feeling might have been avoided, or at least lessened. I am personally disappointed that we are not able to consider and debate that option. Without it. I think this bill is putting the cart before the horse, and I remain unable to support it. While some proponents of this bill argue that religion should have nothing to do with our approach to this issue, that in my view is akin to arguing that parents should have no say over their children's important and sometimes sensitive decisions during their formative years. While the unions and employers should have no say in our labor laws. I acknowledge the major challenges faced by members of the select committee and the respectful nature of the discussions for which I was president. I also acknowledge the architect of this bill Lewis a wall. A few months ago, I accepted an invitation from staff and pupils of Wellington high school to debate this topic with Lewis at one of the largest political meetings I've ever seen. Several of my colleagues thought I was mad and would probably be lynched after my initial hesitation. However, I decided to do it, because I felt it was important for young people to have both sides of the argument to consider. And while I was in the minority of one when I started, and probably still, when I finished, I was very impressed by the people's courtesy and the interest they showed in the issue. I enjoyed the experience. And I respected the approach that Lewis award took that afternoon. Thank you, Louis. That aside, given the huge public interest in this topic and the significant ramifications of the change that is proposed, I am very disappointed that the committee was unable to hear many of those who took the trouble to prepare personal submissions, and who asked to be given the opportunity to appear before the committee. I know that many from my own electorate who have spoken to me and others from around the country who have written that there are hundreds of New Zealanders who feel aggrieved at being shut out of the process on a discussion of a matter of such importance to them and to their faith communities, their cultural and ethnic groups. So on. This isn't just for Christians Far from it. But as I've said, my personal reservation remains primarily grounded in my Christian faith, and my difficulty in believing that God wants this change to be made. This is not in my view evidence of a religion that is out of touch, or of Christians being unable to love others equally and without passing judgment, but it is about honoring him and his word. It is not to say that I haven't been moved and challenged by many Christians, including four ministers in my own city, who have debated the issue with me and argued the Justice Christ always sided with the persecuted and the marginalized in his own times. We should read into that that he would today side with gay couples who are currently denied the opportunity to marry. That is why I offered to work with in good faith with those who felt the civil union act needed to be strengthened and by repeat that offer. Some have said that this bill grants of basic Human Rights. I don't believe that marriage is a universal human right? Because there will always always be those who do not meet legal criteria to marry for various valid reasons. I have some sympathy for those who fear that if this bill is passed, pressure could arise at some future date for other changes to be made for the marriage act to accommodate changes that today would seem unthinkable. It is less than a decade since almost every member of this house, many of whom are still here, argued that a change to the marriage act of this nature was out of the question. That is why many New Zealanders for God's this bill as a breach of faith by Thursday sent here to represent them. Most societies have believed and most religions have taught for thousands of years that marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman who are over a certain age and not committed to any other relationship. It is sacred said to represent as I mentioned the union between Christ and His Church. Maintaining this belief in 2013 has not suddenly become a bigoted, or homophobic view, just because this bill happened to be drawn from the private member's bill ballot last year. Yes, God loves us all equally, whether gay or straight, but he does not, in my view, approve all social change, while most who have written to me and presumably to other MPs from both sides of this debate, and as I mentioned earlier, literally 10s of thousands have done so. Most have been sincere in their views and respectful in the way they have expressed them. A few have been aggressive, insulting, and though the irony appears to have a statement, far more bigoted than anything I have heard arguing or anyone I've heard arguing for the status quo. It is clear that some of the most extreme Writers on both sides of the debate refused to consider that the alternative view to their own could have any merit whatsoever. I do not agree with them. I gave an undertaking to consider as many submissions as fairly and as objectively as I could. And I have done that. I have been moved by the experiences and deeply held convictions of many who have made submissions to the select committee, or who have contacted me on both sides of the debate. In particular, I acknowledge the distress of gay friends and constituents and others who have insisted, very persuasively that being gay is not a choice, and that they continue to feel that society treats them as inferior because of their orientation. I set the former conclusion, and I very much regret that the latter is still true for many I hope we'll be able to move away from that, but to those who have dismissed my religious beliefs as worthless and some have hope Who have insisted that I could easily change those beliefs and who have insisted that my support for the long haul definition of marriage means that I must be a bigot who was antagonistic to those who are campaigning for the changes, and that I must also be homophobic. I say that those are not my views, and I am not that person. As I said, I would have welcomed debate on the merits of several compromises. I hope we may still be able to consider some if as expected, this bill progresses tonight to his committee stages. I pray that God's will be done. [00:19:37] I call the honorable Ruth Dyson. [00:19:41] Mr. Speaker, can I thank you very much for an excellent choice and the fierce competition that there is an undertaking a call in the spill. And I was very privileged to chair the government administration select committee that considered this fill in the floor. I'm particularly pleased to be able to take a call normally, at the stage of the debate. I'll take it minute call, but out of respect to the number of people to whom we can't refer. I'd like the vote taken before 10 o'clock tonight. So I'm going to take shorter time. And then I would like to incidentally say fewer things than I'd like to as well, because this is a really important issue. For many people. I want to acknowledge all the committee members who said on the bill, are those who are for the bill and those who are against and I think that everyone tried really hard on what is for most people and emotive issue to be respectful intolerant of people who disagreed with the view. And I want to thank the committee members for doing that. We were nearly 100% successful, and the other teams out likewise for the submitters, but was the submitters people were very nervous, very anxious, and very patient. But again, almost without exception, presented the views and unoffensive in respectful manner, Mr. Speaker on Pay particular tribute to all the but particularly the young, gay and lesbian submitters, for whom it must have been a very big and courageous step to talk about their own lives in front of people who they didn't know, people is politicians who make an art form out of intimidating people. We tried not to be intimidating, but nevertheless, I'm sure it was a very big city, particularly for those young people. People who talked about how they realized the sexual orientation made them different from their family members from other people at school, or people in the workplace, many of whom been tried to deny the sexual orientation is a result who lived the life is a lie, people who were subjected to being bullied who felt isolated or rejected by the family, who never felt pass of the community or society. That we value so much. And Mr. Speaker for those people, this is not going to change the world. This is not going to overnight, change New Zealand into a completely tolerant and inclusive society. But it will be a lawful recognition of the value of the loving relationships. And for that reason alone at support the bill, it is a step forward and recognizing that value of love and Allah, regardless of the sexual orientation of the people who love. I want to just briefly talk about a frustration I hear with Speaker, I say a frustration she does the frustration that more people are frustrated about. So let me do this. [00:22:44] Let me do that tonight. [00:22:47] The changes that we've made to Section 29 that my colleague there was the world is referred to as specifically designed to ensure that religious freedoms are not trampled on by the marriages. Including this amendment that I hope we progress tonight. We accept that religious freedom should continue in New Zealand. We received advice we debated about it. We thought about it, we took the best advice possible. And I would be prepared to be a witness for reformist minister in the court to say that he has the right to deny a same sex capital to solemnize. The religion should any same sex capital wants to ask a reformist minister to solemnize the wieden. Mr. Speaker, we also as part of the select committee process repealed section 56. And I'd recommend people read that we thought the language of the law was outdated. We don't propose, though, that this be an opportunity for people to denigrate other people's relationships. We just thought that this was an old fashioned bit of legislation at Mr. Speaker The other bit of misinformation that I deeply resent in regreat, being pulled about by some opponents and I say some because I know that many opponents have debated this issue on FX. And that is that we have we have taken out any reference to husband and wife or gender specific teams in the law. Mr. Mr. Speaker asked specific direction to the officials was to not do this. I frankly think it won't end page or many people. I won't stop calling my husband my husband actually, regardless of what the law says. But we specifically said we wanted the law to recognize what people practiced and wanted to do and our country in the only references we have changed is when they were totally incomprehensible if we lift the language is it was so people who say we have gender neutered the language misinforming people, and they should be told [00:24:57] to read [00:24:58] the report from the Missy, and read the amendment. Mr. Speaker, I am a very, very happily married intrasexual woman, I fail to see how enabling any other person in our country the opportunity to share and the joy and responsibility of marriage. I failed to see how that could harm anyone. But I am very able to see how much that could benefit the strength of our families and our communities. I am delighted with this legislation. I'm very proud of the way the select committee worked on it. I know there were many submitters who didn't have the opportunity to be huge. We read the submissions, we value their input, those who were here who'd had a powerful impact on us, Mr. Speaker, I think it has been a very good process, and one that I'm very pleased to support [00:26:00] I call the honor member Chris Aachen bow. [00:26:02] Thank you Mr. Speaker in the first reading of this bill, I voted that to be sent to select committee to ensure a call for submissions and a platform for discussion. [00:26:12] And I am very glad that I did that. [00:26:15] serving on the committee as Deputy Chairman was instructive, illuminating and educative and it was a pleasure working with the honorable Ruth Dyson as Chair. I wish now to speak to the considerations of the committee. The one aspect that was universal common to all submitters was that marriage is special, precious [00:26:38] and desirable. Everyone [00:26:41] sit set, no matter which [00:26:44] part of the argument they were interested in. The issue is over who can or can't participate in it? submitters were very definite in expressing their particular views. I found are three main groupings like to throughout the night, wondering, has an eschatological view of the bill. In other words, to pass the bill will be the beginning of the end of society. As we note, this was a very firmly held view. It's perceived as a slippery slope leading to our ultimate demise as a nation and as a civilization. I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of submitters who held to this view. It was sincerity there, Mr. Speaker, that seems to be entirely based on apprehension and fear [00:27:34] and circular reasoning, rather than on a persuasive argument. While if the bill passes, I cannot imagine that a particularly large percentage of the population will suddenly take the opportunity to engage in same gender marriages. I also cannot imagine that any number would make one iota of difference to the 41 years of marriage that my wife and I have enjoyed or to anybody else's history. Sexual marriage, I can't see it. I've thought deeply about this and cannot believe the social impact of the bill would herald the demise and collapse of the wider societal values in New Zealand. I respect the rights of those who wish to hold to that view, Mr. Speaker, but I cannot give it currency and coming to a defined position on this bill. Another grouping held a perception that this is counter to religious views and practices and represents a state interference in religious practice beliefs and dogma. The committee listened very carefully and sincerely to the concerns expressed as someone who had five years as a lay Minister for the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, and was a member of the Council of assembly for the Presbyterian Church. I had a particular interest in this aspect of the discussion. It became clear through listening that the overriding concern is that the clergy and those authorized by religious bodies to conduct marriages would be obliged, indeed forced to conduct Germany's the same gender capitals should the bill the past was to speak. We've already heard from honorable Ruth Dyson ABOUT SECTION 29 of the Marriage Act which has always stipulated that it authorizes but does not oblige any marriage celebrant to solemnize a marriage to which the licensure lights, the select committee is recommended a new clause that makes it abundantly clear ministers of religion or celebrants from approved organizations are not obliged to solemnize a marriage if to do so what contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or approved organizations. I thoroughly enjoyed theological discussion and have a huge appetite for I've been most grateful for the opportunity to sit with clergy from many different denominations and engage with them on this issue. By providing and ensuring that this bill deals only with secular [00:29:52] issues outside of the game. It deals only with secular issues, it nevertheless leaves a dilemma for Several religious groups who wish to differentiate [00:30:03] their church or holy matrimony from the new definition. If the bill passes, it is not for the state to have a view on this. It's for the churches to resolve in their own way and time. And I look forward to engaging in that discussion and personal best way in my own time. The third consideration we've heard it spoken by my colleague and friend, Tim mechanika. This evening is that marriage is an institution time honored, never changing and having essential components of one man, one woman, common to all countries and civilizations throughout the millennia until death do them part. [00:30:42] Mr. Speaker, [00:30:44] and I necessarily so [00:30:49] my I'm privileged to have my wife in the galleries, not my wife and I married on the 11th of March 41 years ago last Monday and lived happily ever after. [00:31:02] But the question that exercise [00:31:03] the upper echelons of ecclesiastic minds in those days was whether or not the bride should take about of obedience to her husband. You're marrying a red headed west coast girl from wisco. Sarah's to credit for every summer. During that same time job had children born out of wedlock was a hamper to church marriage as was a divorce or indeed wanting to marry someone of a different religion. Bands of marriage were called from pulpits, advising that people were intending marriage and others were invited to give reasons why that marriage should not proceed or to forever hold their peace. Marriage mr. speaker is not an unchanging institution. And while most of its institutional aspects have been laudable for men, they have often been less than favorable for women. Some stats to share this change to the institution acquired illumination of speaker to 23% of marriages are conducted in a Registered Office 32% of marriages are conducted in a church 45% are conducted by independent marriage celebrants Mr. Speaker the figures Sharjah change which we cannot close is too. I found that personally significant that from the wait for the figures 9347 independent marriage celebrant sincerely 10,000 independent marriage celebrants [00:32:30] and 535 civil union celebrants that's 1500. All together, the committee received two. [00:32:38] Two [00:32:40] submissions. Mr. Speaker, the last two aspects I wish to touch on the measure of conscience and the question of family coming first. In terms of conscience I've given much much thought to this. I'm acquainted with guilt. Being a Presbyterian one goes through life thinking that one hasn't worked hard enough. hasn't done Enough hasn't reached the requirement that life's opportunities offer. And you always get either members will tell you that as one did this evening, to Sage my conscience on this issue I delve back in my life to the age of understanding, which I think there's a Catholic persuasion tells me that Jesus determinates at seven years old when I was a boy, [00:33:21] I looked at Catholic Catholic Catholic Kismet values [00:33:23] want to learn in the Catechism by rote in Glasgow, who made you God made me Why did God make you? God made me to know him and love him? The third question, What image did God make you in? The answer? God made me in his own image was to speak at every seven year old boy and girl said the same and believed it was true. They didn't have to add as long as I conform to being heterosexual and not to loving anyone of the same gender as myself. My conscience is very clear on this issue. Every person has the Same spiritual claim as one another to being made in the image of God and it will be a braver person than I am to deny that address the question of eschatology, in my mind, the question ensuring religious freedom and the assumption of benign institutionalization. My conscience is not clouded, or indeed involved in this issue. Mr. Speaker, as an older person, we do have a baggage to carry of remembering when homosexuality was illegal. In fact, it was criminal. And it was we were told MRO there were two different groups of people who came and made submissions before us, and it was what I would call a generational divide. And so in dealing with the legacy of discrimination, discriminatory prejudice, and I wouldn't want that to be a deciding feature. I prayerfully asked to Able to internalize and resolve this complicated situation [00:35:03] in my head, [00:35:05] in my heart and in myself, what I learned what I learned from listening to the submissions, Mr. Speaker, colleagues, is in fact, each homosexual, lesbian, bisexual transgender person appearing before us was not just to be seen as an individual, not just identified by gender preference, but in fact, as a mother, son or a daughter, and a father's daughter or a son, the siblings to their brothers and sisters, grandchildren, to their grandparents, nephews and nieces, to their uncles and aunts and uncles and adds to the nephews and nieces cousins to their cousins. Mr. Speaker, they're all family, along with their heterosexual friends and relations, and all are an integral part of the New Zealand family, all part in my mind, in my heart and in my conscience, all part of God's family. And I realized that this bill 60 puts first something that critics have accused of it of undermining And that is the family. We as parliamentarians should not simply look past the interests of the applicants for the spell. We should not simply look at their interests. We should and we must look after their interests. We should pass this bill. [00:36:35] Cooley, honorable Trevor Maillard. [00:36:39] Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I, for the reasons outlined by my friend and colleague Ruth Dyson will speak for a relatively short time as well. I want to think who for who able cheering at the select committee to thank the previous speaker for the work he also did on that. Select Committee in to contrast, the attitude of many of most of the submitters at that Select Committee, with my experience chairing a select committee on a similar subject Twiggy seven years ago. There is there is without 17 Atmos Mr. Speaker earlier as opposed to the midpoint of my career. Mr. Mr. Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt [00:37:32] that the winds of change have blown. They have moved us a very, very long way. And that is reflected not only in society's attitude over the period of time, but the attitude of members of parliament in the public is I have taken part in this debate in the speaker is enormously different. There were a few of my colleagues who were there at the time. But the attitude from one side of Graham Lee, and john banks and normal Jones was appalling. It was absolutely shocking. In revolting, Mr. Speaker, some of the people who spoke for the legislation with their flesh either trigger the clean I think of who's who's that was nine for us was just don't make it compulsory, I think was the line that triggered a train top badnesses Speaker I was proud it time at the food reading to be the tiller for the eyes and to come out and to put five fingers in the year because that was the margin that we got time to check. [00:38:50] Let's just figure I now [00:38:52] and get a surprise some people but I say that I have a lot in common with the position that Tim making the Doctor, Mr. Speaker, I think actually, [00:39:04] the state has almost [00:39:07] no role in marriage. My view is actually, if everyone had a civil union or went to the state and got a better paper, and seed, you are married and then went off to the church, or if they wanted to dance around a fire on the beach, and have whatever appropriate celebration of that new relationship that they wanted to, then that would be the best approach. But Mr. Speaker, I have Canvas colleagues. And what became clear to me is that the winds of change have not quite blown that far yet. And colleagues in the house do feel that the state has a role in marriage. And if that is to be the case, then in my view, it has to be equal for all Thank you Mr. Speaker. [00:40:08] The right honorable Winston Peters. Speaker. [00:40:14] I move at the motion be a minute by replacing all the words following that, with the following [00:40:20] words a referendum be held at the time of the next general election to decide whether the marriage act 1955 should be amended to recognize marriage between two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity in the quotes. [00:40:41] Yeah, well, the member should if he's going to speak, continue to speak, and I would ask that I can have a written copy of the amendment please. So just continue. [00:40:51] Mr. Speaker. This is Katie about many issues or many beliefs and you've heard them tonight and for many years and Over the last few months in particular, but it also is about the rights of the people of this country to be heard. The right of New Zealanders to all have their say, and to events, their equality with anyone who sits in this parliament is known as a proud tradition of democracy. It's in our cultural DNA, where one of Bernie nine countries that can claim an unbroken line of democracy, that's elections on a regular term for the last one and a half centuries. We are seriously in a country Annette context. And the democratic traditions of museum is part of who we are as a nation. And tonight, for reasons that members may best understand themselves, that tradition is again under threat. We stand on the verge of passing legislation Which would radically change issues for marriage. No one and tonight's debate was surely watching TV or being here tonight dispute that. We stand on the verge of passing legislation, which would radically change the interest of marriage. And my party is not here to argue the merits of that. [00:42:23] But we are going to go about it without any democratic mandate at all. Who here and the last campaign said we're going to do this? [00:42:36] Who here in the last campaign? Yes. [00:42:44] We did. Is that true? Well, I don't recall the advertisements. I don't recall the holdings. I don't recall the power post. When it was thought that verse will be forfeit. So we can make that pretty frivolous statement. But tonight on I'm asking you this. Why do you think that your knowledge of this country is more preferable to the mass majority of adult Zealanders? answer that question, do you still feel that you have a superior entitlement to the ordinary people of this country who after all, we are going to sue and not become the directors of we are doing it without any democratic mandate at all. I have no doubt about this. That is, you know, people have been denied the chance to vote on one of the most polarizing of issues of our age. That is this is not to argue the merits of each side. The proponents of Miss wills bill points the SEC committee process as being some sort of indication [00:43:50] whether that's true, is that a mandate? [00:43:54] If that's true, is a good enough events true? Why don't you Trust your fellow New Zealanders. What is it about the New Zealand people who you fall swore to serve all your Parliament the days that you don't trust? And think that you have a superior knowledge of it's a select committee submissions revealed. And the thing is that the public opinion of this country is widely spread. We all accept that. But where is the majority in our country? [00:44:27] Where is the mandate? This may seem [00:44:32] that just yesterday we were talking about the need to ask the country about asset sales. And we all know that there's a massive majority of New Zealanders despite our products against the sale of assets. How can somebody be meritorious yesterday and 48 hours not be meritorious? asked that question. Such a major legislative change must be based on the collective will of the Zealanders Not 121 generally empowered MPs, mostly people gonna be gone tomorrow. We all know that. So why would you not repose the trust in the burdens of this country? against the people who sit here? It's called democracy for goodness sake. If he's you know, is going to have a proper debate, or someone to say to me go and get the signatures already. Well, why not do but Washington another great people in history have done? Why not ask the people? [00:45:35] What is so wrong with that? [00:45:38] Man, what can be what can be wrong? If you have the overwhelming majority of 4 million New Zealanders expressed by the adults in a referendum? Where's the sun here and actually repurposing the trust in the people of this country. We are calling for a referendum on an issue You to give all New Zealanders the same say as these people either night. [00:46:07] Why not? [00:46:09] What could possibly be wrong? Oh unprincipled, or unfair. And then the people of New Zealand decide this issue for themselves. And knowing them, and knowing them, whichever side of the argument we end up on, that the public have decided, and therefore, because we believe in democracy, we must live with their choice. But to be so wrong with that. In the past so often, and there are people in the gallery tonight watching TV tonight and other cells, who know that there's been an enormous fundamental disconnect between politicians and voters. We've seen them do this on occasion after occasion after occasion, particularly over the last 30 years. No one dispute that tonight. And on so many occasions, we've seen politicians blatantly lie about their intentions. And they cannot pay anyone who's watching tonight's debate. Who doesn't understand that. You know, tonight we're actually seeing it in this sense. There is a recurring theme here. And we wonder why a million people, then the last election, given title, 1 million New Zealanders, and a country that used to be pride itself, that even though the bird was voluntary, we used to outperform Australia with a vote was compulsory. That was a recent burst, but a million never turned out the last election. And I can see and I'm sure some of you see why there is. They think that their voice doesn't matter. And echoing out of this house tonight reverberate in the country, all around New Zealand. There's an expression saying, you don't matter. You don't count. You're just Joe Bloggs out suburb somewhere else or in some Black Bloc place, when in fact, this should be a powerful empowering expression from museum. [00:48:17] There is nothing more than politicians who think they know best. [00:48:28] There is nothing more obvious [00:48:32] than politicians who think they know best. [00:48:36] And this debate sadly, and I'm not doubting the integrity of any side of this debate. But it shows and a terrible indifference in 2013 when all around expressions are about transparency, openness, and taking the people with us, an absolute apathy and indifference to democracy. It betrays the feeling of moral and visual superiority. that some people is chamber hole. And my challenge to you up there right now and around this country is do you think these people are better able to judge this issue than you? [00:49:11] On Are you done? [00:49:13] Oh, no, you're done. Because there's no one who believes in democracy that doesn't want them to have the decision shared with their family, their friends, the community, and indeed their nation with them themselves. I think the people of this country tonight are being graciously let down because of a normal sense of is there an argument here, but there's also the feeling that we again will take the people for granted. My party proposes referendum. My party says that we believe the people of this country are better able to solve this issue than anybody else. And we don't trust the people. Pray tell me, [00:49:56] you're gonna trust now. [00:50:00] Kevin Hague. [00:50:02] Why thank you, Mr. Speaker. [00:50:05] Just is I should say the question is that the amendment be agreed to acknowledging the amendment. Now, Kevin night [00:50:14] speaker, [00:50:16] I want to begin by echoing the honorable roof Tyson and, and the honorable Trevor Maillard in expressing my appreciation of the officials who worked so hard servicing the needs of the select committee. Also, to all of those members who sat on the select committee with me, both those who favor the bill and those who oppose it, I believe all did their job sincerely and well, and particularly praise the job that was done by the honorable Ruth Tyson and the chair and indeed by Crystal convolve, who, on occasion was also in the chair in creating a culture in the select committee here in of respect and integrity. Some of the submissions that we heard from people speaking in favor of the bill were hard to listen to proceed with the committee, their own stories of the damage that prejudice and discrimination had brought some friends lost to suicide, their own self harm, depression and isolation. And they told us also about their loves. It was wonderful to have lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people come to the committee and speak about the people they love, their hopes for the future, and the powerful difference this bill will make in their lives. Some people came with a partner. On one occasion a young woman gave her submission with her partner, appearance, his sisters, and one of his sister's fiance. heterosexual people and couples came And told us about how they felt about marriage not being available to the gay friends, parents came, children came. They spoke about love, and about belonging. How the institutions of a society like marriage, former kind of rope that binds society together, across the generations and through history. Not all of us want to get married. But what we heard on the committee was a strong yearning for respect for belonging. And to add our strengths to that right. It was striking that the submissions for the bill came from a huge range of organizations and individuals offering an array of different perspectives, personal religious, health, legal, human rights, which is some of those by way of contrast, solutions opposed to the bill while also sincere and strongly held, represented typically quite a narrow range of views, and one particular perspective. Almost all of the submissions opposed to the bill came from a religious perspective. Most of them reflected the submission guide that had been circulated by a particular lobby group, often the dice and including the errors. I want to make two broad generalizations about the debate overall. Firstly, from the word guy, Lewis a wall and those of us who have been waiting for this bill, have been absolutely clear that we have no wish to restrict the religious freedom of others. We know that some churches still had some doubts about that at the select committee, rather than getting bogged down and whether the Adele's had any validity has moved to put the matter beyond doubt the existing relationship between church and state has been preserved, with no church required to do or to say anything differently. While the church voice has been heard loudest has been one opposed to the goal. All the while, they have been fights, denominations and congregations within denominations who have wished to be able to conduct same sex marriages and whose freedom of religion has been constrained by the existing law. passing this bill into law will extend religious freedoms and will not restrict them in any way. The second general point I want to make is that as I read the submissions, I was more and more struck. By the difference in worldview they represented. [00:54:55] Those in favor of the bill typically see New Zealand as a pluralistic society in which this Parliament needs to create a framework that supports and provides for a multiplicity of cultures, beliefs and value systems. By way of contrast, those opposed to the bill, they'll believe that this Parliament should legislate for a strict code of behavior that conforms to a single of various very tightly restricted set of beliefs and values based on their own religious belief. They believe all must comply with this behavior code, regardless of whether or not they share the beliefs on which it is biased. We heard a lot of bad traditions here. Those opposed said that the institution of marriage shouldn't be changed because of tradition. Those who support the bill show that progress can only occur by changing historical practices. And this has been the case and Chris Walken vol has certainly demonstrated with marriage many times over. This was graphically illustrated by so many of the arguments against this bill being precisely those that were used in the United States to try to justify continuing bans on interracial marriage tradition. slippery slope, God's Will all the same arguments. The landmark Supreme Court case to finally in such bands in the United States was the loving versus the state of Virginia kind of ironic in 1967. Although the last of those laws was only removed in Alabama, in the year 2000. Mildred, a black woman, and Richard a white man for the nine year battle to have their marriage recognized in the home state in 2007, the United 68 a year before her death, noted loving A very rare statement about same sex marriage delivered on the 40th anniversary of the historic decision. Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and I love our rights to marry, and how much it means to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the wrong kind of person for me to marry. I believe all Americans and later the race, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others, especially if it denies people's civil rights. I'm still not a political person. But I am proud that Richards and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love The commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight see in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. Mr. Speaker, it's time [00:58:22] CamelBak chief [00:58:26] cck [00:58:29] point of order, the Honorable Joe Henry. [00:58:32] I've stood to take the call on a lot of occasions tonight. I want to know from you. [00:58:42] How are you determining who speaks [00:58:47] adopt the precaution of actually sending two clips beforehand what may be a preferential way of doing this which was principally the mover of the bill. Select Committee members already leaders of the house and then I would choose a speaker subsequently after that I've noted the members intention to take a call. [00:59:12] point of order to hear this a speaker [00:59:13] this is a conscience vote a free vote. And therefore, I think it [00:59:21] that it is wrong for you to go down that path. [00:59:26] I think order order I've made a ruling at the member may well disqualify himself if he persists. Colonel Bakshi, [00:59:34] business Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, [00:59:38] for this opportunity for me to speak on the second reading of marriage amendment bill. Before I talk about the bill. I thank all the staff and officials who work during the select committee hearings and collection of submissions, significant number of submissions that were received both against and in favor of the bill. I would also like to thank all the submitters for the African and oral submissions. I also take this opportunity to thank the Chair of the government admin Select Committee, honorable Ruth Dyson and other members for all the hard hard work they have put in, in this process. Mr. Speaker, I begin by sharing one of the words from the holy group room side, the living group of six, which is our alarm rupiah case of them they ignored the subject, Julia Cohen was a common day when translated, this would most likely read. The Lord first created his own light and out of the light was created all human being, how can then be one human being good, and this other cannot be. Mr. Speaker, my religious belief and faith is a Sikhism the purpose of me sharing this was with my parliamentary colleagues. And you is to clarify that it is not my in my religion, culture or heritage to discriminate anyone on any base. I do not believe that anyone of us residing in New Zealand is a second second class citizen. I know that some of my often opposition colleagues, refighting redefining what constitutes marriage may not be much of a big deal. However, from what my community has shared with me, is most of us it is I based my position not only any on any historical belief, but rather what I saw and heard when I went to went with the open mind to the select committee hearings across New Zealand. However, at each of the select committee hearing, none of the arguments presented by the submitters provided provided any significant rationale for redefining the word marriage. Furthermore, the rights that are being sought are already provided for under the civil union. In case there are any changes required in civil union law can be tweaked to accommodate these changes, however, to change the definition of marriage, from what it is historically been to something that offends majority of people in appropriate as specially when those argue for the change, have little way in way of reasoning to support the argument. The basis of the bill, in that marriage is a social institution is fundamental human rights for all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and that all should therefore have equal opportunity to it without discrimination, or limiting the human rights to one group in this one It only which would know allow for equality. In my counter argument, can I just say that right to marry is not never can be an absolute human right? The law of this country does not permit close family members to marry each other, or children or people who are already married. In each case, Mr. Speaker, there is good reason for such restriction. None of them can be classified as discrimination. And can I also ask a counter question? Does anyone who opposed to the view put forward does not enjoy the same human rights as people who seek this amendment? [01:03:50] Do we have the right to express what we feel about the issue which stands to change our society? Mr. Speaker, neither in the club That the same sex marriage is basic human right? Correct. If this was the case, the rights would have been enriched in major international human rights agreements signed by New Zealand, in particular, particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Those who are who argue that by proposing this bill, they seek to defend the human rights, do songwriters, but people who advocate for the change, have in my opinion fail to consider the grave implication that the change this he will have all of us society. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, those who feel the reckless about this, about redefining marriage should ask if including the polyamorous relationship should be consented for other society. They should ask the question to themselves, what will be the impact of agreeing to the polyamorous relationship In our society, Mr. Speaker, apart from the rational a group argument, and the question I have put forward and asked earlier, can I ask simplistic question to those who argue that the same sex couples will allow to marry? Can I ask the word marriage will add any sugar or flavor to their relationship. During one of the public hearing, I was pleased to see a family who had come to support their daughters submission. By the way the submission was in support of the bill. The family bond is one special thing we are fortunate to enjoy in New Zealand. During the hearing, I asked the family if being a civil in civil union or marriage will affect her or her family born in any manner. They said no, somehow have caused my comment as discriminatory again, if my opening statement and assure all my brothers and sister that I believe in humanity and human rights and as much as they do, all the human beings are equal, regardless of where they come from. I honestly do not believe that this standing my position on marriage, I am discriminating against anyone. Marriage for me, is something that has unique sanctity inherent in its divine origin given to the humanity and the pattern and the plan for the perpetuation of society. This attempt to redefine marriage is causing considerable amount of anxiety in religious organization and this stuff. The prevailing view of churches from Catholic to Pentecost is that the marriage is spirit spirituality, scared, too many sacred too many people in our society. The New Zealand Christian community as a whole rejects the nation notion that there is no biblical view of marriage. The Standard Bible view view of marriage first revealed in Genesis and then a dose endorsed by Jesus is the faithful union of one men and women. Any other form of marriage is never endorsed by Old Testaments, the idea of same sex marriage sex, same sex marriage is basically unthinkable. Therefore, the church also consider that the civil union act 2004 already provide for the clear society equal recognition and legal protection of same sex relationship. the select committee listen very closely to the submissions made by the church and thereby recommended that in case the bill is passed, nurtures minister or pastor can be forced to undertake a same sex wedding this I think is an excellent example of how democratic Our nation is. [01:08:06] Mr. Speaker, as a citizen of this country, I acknowledge, accept and respect the aspiration of the homosexual people, as citizen of hetero to be to have Dell partnership recognized by the society and fully protected by the law. However, the social, social and legal argument presented by those forwarding this argument does not make a compelling case. My concern is to protect the uniqueness of the marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Once again, Mr. Speaker, I fully endorse the principle of equality as a human being. However, I assert that while the people are equal, not all relationship are the same, Mr. Speaker, rather than listening to the cash prize, which are based on individualistic arguing And we parliamentarians must consider the large public good and exponent expectations. When we vote on this bill. The larger public good and expectation is other most of New Zealanders do not accept this. Society believes it has the right to do anything for ever. It takes little or no responsibility for the consequences of its action of an Australians. Our neighbors have recently defeated the equivalent legislation of Marriage Act Amendment Bill, with the resulting vote 42 in favor and 98 against [01:09:40] the name is Tom has expired. [01:09:45] The Honorable Landale seal. [01:09:48] I have participated in more than one debate on this Parliament parliament in my time here, the first time that I participated in a debate on a subject that really has been a platform for where we are now with a 1993 amendments, the Human Rights Act, which took effect on the first of February 1994. And I haven't been [01:10:10] here as long as the as Trevor Bella is, but I remember this debate very, very well. And the second one was the civil union legislation. And I do want to speak briefly to both of those because they are relevant to why we're here tonight. I remember participating in the human rights debate, as it were yesterday, and in fact, the number of submissions that came into this Select Committee, which I had the honor of saving on the number of submissions that came and didn't, most of them didn't actually deal at all with all of the amendments to the human rights legislation. They focused on the supplementary order paper very bravely, progress by case we know Reagan, who was an Associate Minister and the government at the time, and she made sure that sexual orientation and also Diseases capable of causing an infection. I can't remember what it was, but it was the HIV status cause and enable people to have a say about whether that should become part of our human rights architecture. And fortunately, that was passed by this house. And at the same time that legislation changed our bill of rights it and it was substantial, a substantial advance in this country. And I was very proud to be part of that debate. And actually, I remember standing in this house and I was sitting up the front and standing up the front, speaking of the third reading of the debate, and it was about nine o'clock in the morning because we were speaking under urgency. And I remember standing here and I was so tired because we'd been up till midnight the night before. And I just said I just today I just feel so proud to be a member of parliament. And I really, really felt that way. And if you remember the early 1990s they were A lot of things that I felt particularly proud of Big D. And so it really was an A major achievement. But what I remember about that night, after the debate was over, I was invited to appear on television to stand up for what I had voted for. And I appeared, debating the issue on the other side with a gentleman called Graham cable from one of the religious, political parties. And I just want everyone in this house to think for one minute where he is today. So, and as I said, I felt very proud of that moment, supporting that legislation, and it was a major, major change. I should have been the minister that introduced the civil union legislation, or really am very sad that I was not tragically, I decided to take time out for bad behavior at the time and as a result my colleague, the only David bids and Pope had the honor of taking that legislation through the house. That disadvantage of not being able to steer that legislation through the house was immediately overtaken by the, by the great pleasure that I had and hearing the submissions. And I paid tribute to Ruth Dyson and all members of the committee for having taken up the challenge with this particular piece of legislation. And doing so in such a respectful way. The feedback that I've heard from people on both sides of the debate that they felt honored and respected on both sides of the debate by the committee, so I do thank them for that and thank Ruth Dyson for her great leadership and that regard. At the time, as I said, there were lots of the arguments that have been here today with her Dean, but I have to say that the noise was much louder then I have to say that the noise has dampened down and I don't feel that That there is the strength of the objections that existed back then. And I think there's a very simple reason for that. A lot of the dire predictions that were made at that time simply didn't come to pass as they head into 1993, as they didn't end the year. What was it, BC or whatever, when Trevor Maillard was debating the previous one. But and and, and the point is, is that I went back and I looked at my first reading speech for the civil union legislation, and I actually found a speech that I could have given tonight, because I said that the Marriage Act was discriminatory back then, every single thing I said in my speech was actually not in support of civil union. It was supporting an amendment to the Marriage Act, and I wish that we had been able to go there then but we couldn't, and I'm really proud of my friend Lewis a wall for bringing it to the house. tonight. I quoted Barry Hyo, who had recently made a decision on the UK, she said the guarantee of equal treatment is essential to democracy. And as this isn't the slippery slope and I actually went online before to find out what is the alternative, what's the opposite of a slippery slope? [01:15:18] And I found that it was a leap of faith. And [01:15:21] that's what we're doing here tonight, is we have all the way along this journey. And it's not a slippery slope. It's about understanding. We're a democracy, democracy must stand. It must stand for human rights. I bet I sit in my third reading speech that I had a lot of black on my side when I chose the circumstances of my booth. I was born to the majority status and every single respect, I was white, I was female, and I was heterosexual. And I was born into what was called in the one true faith. I was born into the Catholic Church. And I said See that what concern me at the time was that some representatives of the church had essentially asked me to set aside one of the principles that stands for, and one of the values that taught me. And that was the one that affirms committed faithful, loving relationships between two people who wish to share their lives together. Mr. Speaker, I stand by those values. And that's why I stood by the civil union legislation. That's why I stand by this marriage amendment tonight. And that's why I believe that the people who want to who have oppose this bill actually speak to those values, and exactly the same way that we did back then, and I hope that this house can see its way clear to seeing the passage of this legislation. And for today, and the rest of the passage of the spilled go down in history is a day that we stood proudly for human rights. [01:17:06] Mr. Speaker, thank you for recognizing me the time [01:17:17] you know, there's nothing quite like an idea whose time has come. Mr. Speaker is nothing quite like an MP with an idea whose time has come. And I want to say all power to my colleague, Louisa wall. Mr. Speaker, I won't take too much of the houses time and I know there's a few people across the way and even in my own party there will be [01:17:44] certainly clapping [01:17:52] but what I what I despise most of all about the process that we are going through tonight, or what I'm going through That blatant gerrymandering of our process. And I want to say to my party, that I am a poor by that behavior. I am a pole at some of the behavior that I've seen tonight. They're outright [01:18:19] not telling the truth. [01:18:22] Mr. Speaker, when when somebody when something like this comes before the house, a person has to ask themselves, how does it impact on them? How does the decision that the house makes impact on myself, my wife and my family? And the funny thing is, is that most legislation impacts on you somehow. This on the other hand, doesn't impact me one little bit. It doesn't affect me. It doesn't hurt me. It doesn't help me. It has nothing to do with me. It has nothing to do with my sanity with my lack of sanity, with my happiness with my lack of happiness. It has everything to do with other people's sanity, everything to do with other people's happiness, everything to do with how they choose to run their lives. Mr. Speaker, [01:19:29] Mr. Speaker, [01:19:32] I'm remiss in I was born angry at the beginning. [01:19:38] just slowly but but this is this, this this speech. [01:19:44] The speech I dedicate the speech not only to my very dear colleague, Louisa wall, but to my cousin, who three or four weeks ago passed away to Catherine Hinari. My first cousin And so I was remiss in not saying her name. The other question that I like to ask myself when legislation is brought to the house is the sky going to fall in and gotta say, that ain't going to fall in and tomorrow the sun. It says it might not be a good [01:20:27] thing to say because there's a drought but the sun's gonna come up again tomorrow. [01:20:33] And rain is on the way. But not because of this. [01:20:41] I do want to have a free shot. And I want to [01:20:48] make mention of the referendum issue that my former [01:20:55] leader colleague, party may paint My [01:21:07] brother and I [01:21:10] want to say this to New Zealand First. [01:21:14] They are the only party in this in this house that steadfastly believes in the issue of referendum. And I take my head off to New Zealand First, for having that position through throughout the years. If it was one thing that they have been consistent on, it is the issue of a referendum. But now I turned my little week guns on those who have conveniently found the issue of a referendum. Those that have suddenly become revolutionary and the issue of a referendum resolute in the determination to push the idea of a referendum? If, if I was to believe them, then why aren't we having a referendum on asset sales? Why aren't we having referendum on all sorts and all manner of things. So to my colleagues, who I think and who I hold dear to my heart, including Mr. Bennett, who has tried, who has tried vigorously all day to get me to support a referendum. I say to Mr. Bennett, it's a bit late brother to be thinking about a referendum. It's a bit late and quite frankly, it is wrong to think that you can govern a country through the referendum through the referendum issue. Mr. Speaker, it won't work. It has never worked and Mr. Speaker and Mr. Speaker, I don't support it. One of the final things I want to say, Mr. Speaker, if the institution or the so called institution of marriage was so sacristy, Mr. Speaker, then why are there so many people opting out of marriages? Why are there so many divorces? Mr. Speaker? Now, I'm not I'm not an expert on marriage. I've only been married for just over 365 days, Mr. Speaker, but what I do know, what I do know is that why can't we offer the same opportunities to everybody, rather than only a few people in our nation? Mr. Speaker I gotta say that, and I suppose I should quote Dr. Paul Hutchison when you see in the first really The speech of the bill that he can't find any good reason to vote against it. And I, too, am like that, Mr. Speaker. And I think that everybody should be like Dr. Paul Hutchison, and think very seriously and have a look at it and say they can't, they can't find any good reason to vote against this piece of legislation. Mr. Speaker, I come in this bill to the house, and I commend my colleague, Louisa Walker. [01:24:47] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm proud to stand here today as a green voice and support of my impressive colleague Louis the world's bill for marriage equality. The Green Party is voting on block and support of this bill. Because the US it's a human rights issue. And there's no measure of conscience when it comes to rights and equality under the law. And as even if the majority of New Zealand was opposed to this bill, we would still support it, because we understand that human rights exist to protect the minority from the majority. And that is what this bill does. I'd like to acknowledge my colleague, Kevin hake, who has worked so hard for us on behalf of the greens and this co Papa, and everyone else who said on the Select Committee, I know that hearing the stories of pain and injury caused by discrimination can be really hard. So I honor you for that work. And I'd like to acknowledge everyone and many of you I know are here tonight, who shared your personal stories with the committee in this house and this process. To help us make the right decision tonight. I really hope that your stories guys are votes. And I hope that for the really beautiful young queer people, some of whom I also know are here tonight that I meet a few months ago who told me that they would cry if Parliament ever had a queer straight Alliance. I hope they're going to cry tonight, because I hope this is gonna be an example of a queer straight Alliance standing up for all of our rights. And so far, I've been so encouraged by how much progress we've made in this debate. And to see that seven years on from the debate around civil unions, that eight out of nine political party leaders are supporting this Bill, I do believe as a country, we are making progress. One of the reasons I support this bill is from my mom and dad, that when I came out, my parents really struggled. They didn't and I don't live in the lovely liberal bubble that I do and Wellington, they don't have my beautiful community to tell them that my identity and by association, they and their identity is okay. And they're worried that worried for me and other times, I believe, worried how people would judge them. So I want my parents to know that society has moved on, and that there's less chance now that I or they will be judged for my sexuality. But most importantly, I I think for me, I want those people who have been bullying, queer, young, young, queer and trans people to know that as a society, we've ended legal discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And we've taken one more step towards ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity. We have moved on, and they are now well and truly out of state. While I've got no desire to marry, even if someone was asking, I do want the possibility for my friends and others who want to, I want to see that equality and our lower civil unions are not equality. People who aren't told they can't do it can't tell us that. That's a quality. They are a compromise. They tell us and the reason Society, that there's something intrinsically different about our emotions and our relationships. And while I absolutely celebrate difference, even after reading all the submissions and all the emails that tell me otherwise, I still do not leave that our love is essentially different. [01:29:25] The day before the first reading a friend celebrated five years to get with her partner. She has a part a house with a partner, they parent a child together, they share their lives together. That day, they match for marriage equality together, because their relationship is just as valid as any heterosexual couples. And while I definitely believe that that's true without this law, I want them to know that this Parliament also thinks that's true. I want them to be assured that we See their relationship as intrinsically the same as that between a loving man and woman. I want them and their little one. To know that this society does not discriminate on the basis of sexuality. And one day entirely, not on gender identity. And I want someone who is married, and then transitions and the agenda to the summit and stays and has been married to somebody of the same gender not to have to divorce the partner as they do now. And I want to hit true sexual friends, like my colleague, Colleen Walker, to be able to marry in good conscience, knowing who gave brenes can too, if that's what she wants to do. Marriage has changed [01:30:55] over time, [01:30:56] mostly for the better and Now it just needs this change to reflect our current social norm. I'm pleased the greens and so many of us in this Parliament recognize this issue for what it is an issue of rights and an opportunity to legislate for the possibility of a society without discrimination. [01:31:26] The Honorable choose to borrow cyclist to figure this a speaker, it is [01:31:31] a privilege to be able to stay in the house and speak in this debate. And I want to congratulate members from right across the house for the way I would say I've conducted this debate from the moment that bill was introduced or even discussed, right through the select committee process. And unfortunately, I wasn't part of the select committee process. But all reports are that those people on that committee conducted themselves very well. I think it's a real shame that people and also different sides of this debate outside the chamber. Don't think those of us who think differently from others within the house height enough. The fact is that all of us can respect the views of those who are in here and making speeches tonight. And I find myself in a situation where I agree with so many speakers who are speaking both in the same way for the the way I intend to vote no speaking against. I do agree, for instance, with the last speaker, Jane lovi, that all relationships should be treated in exactly the same way whether they be a heterosexual marriage, or whether they be a civil union between hit for sexual couples or gay couples, or long term effect their relationships between heterosexual couples, or gay couples. I believe that the fundamental issue here is the equality of long term relationships and the status they have before the Lord. I believe that that is the issue that we should have the courage to debate tonight. And I don't believe that by changing the definition of marriage to want to include gay couples is the way to do it. I believe that there is a way a young a different way of trying to achieve the main objective which is to achieve that legal status. I find it abhorrent the way that various groups have acted throughout the course of this debate. As a Christian or a conservative Christian, I find it abhorrent the way that Christians have entered into this debate, the threatening nature with which they have emailed colleagues and I know colleagues who have sit out thinking they will vote against this bill and change their mind because of the way they have been treated by Christians supposedly worshiping in their daily lives and witness a loving God, and if they profess to worship that God, it's a different God that I worship and that I believe in, because they have shown nothing of that love that all encompassing love and the way that they have conducted themselves within this debate. And it is unfortunate that in every debate where fundamentalist Christians get involved in lobbying one side or another, they always bring out the worst, and seek to have those people who don't hold our faith to shove us into a pigeonhole that would brand us all in the same way. And I think that is despicable for people of faith to to behave. My fundamental concern with us villas, as I stated earlier, it seeks to redefine marriage as something other than a hit for sexual institution, which should has always been or be at the autopsy. The Odd exception when some great wanted to marry me His manservant, a nodia somewhere back in history, someone wanted to marry some other creature from other species. It doesn't mean for instance, that that detracts from the fundamental definition of what marriages. [01:35:18] Marriage does not belong to Christianity. It doesn't belong to any religion or ethnicity. It has been there since time immemorial. And it has always been really relative to hit for sexual couple. I don't believe that changing that definition addresses the fundamental issues, which are about the equality of long term relationships before the law. And if for instance, it is directed at the prejudice within the adoption Act, which has brought about by that definition of marriage, then I need to stay right here that I would vote for Before the change in the adoption law, because I believe the overriding principle was what is in the best interest of children. And so I think this house needs to have the courage to define clearly what the issue is. And to have that debate, no matter how unpopular that may be, or no matter how much trouble we may well get into, I also want to just acknowledge two and a number of comments that members around the house was made and that is how far we have come. And I know within my own experience, how far I have come in relation to these issues. And my and that is about that circle of friends. I acknowledge again, Jen laggy, who talked about the liberal bubble that she lives in, the wider your air experience within the wider the circle of friends, then no doubt that brings in contact as it has, to me a number of gay friends and gay relatives that I have Love and treasure, the friendship or have been considered a privilege to be part of the lives. And I have also experienced the prejudice that those people have experienced within the communities. And one particular cousin of mine, an exclusive brethren person who having come here has had to leave the faith and his family in his his acknowledgement of his status. His means that he has lost absolutely everything and thankfully, he has been welcomed by a loving and caring guy community and an understanding heterosexual community. And, and I believe that is a good thing. I want to just finish off with another quote. And and there is this, that I think that all the comment that tau Hinari made the honorable Joe Hinari made and respect of decisions that we might not affecting us. The fact is that we are here making decisions That will affect the lives of others. And maybe they will affect us as well. I don't accept any suggestion, for instance, that's a gay couple being allowed to be married, is going to affect my 34 year marriage to Ella, in the same way as my good friend Chris Rock and Roll. It doesn't say that it would affect his that isn't the point. The point is that what we have is a group of people who will be affected by their fundamental beliefs and the fact that they see marriage as a heterosexual institution by changing that they will be affected in that way. And by enhancing the space, the view of those who see it differently, you automatically suppress those views. And I would have thought that people who had lived under oppressive the oppressive wrongly oppressive regime for so long would have understood that and we could have found another way ahead and I want to finish now because I recognize that time is short. By once again, restating that I think that this parliament has conducted itself with exceptional integrity and the population of New Zealand no matter how they would vote on this issue should recognize that the fact that we can debate strongly different points of view here but acknowledge that they are different points of view. They are not Lisa. They are not greater. They are just different. And the more that the public of New Zealand, looking at this chamber, recognize their the beta way will all be thinking Mr. Speaker. [01:39:31] The divide has now completed. The debate has now concluded. I'm wishing wish to acquaint members with the proceeds from here on because we are to some extent, breaking new ground we are now going to enter into the voting but before I do that, I want to just read a standing order to nine for at the conclusion of the debate on the second reading of the bill. The speaker puts a question in the amendments recommended by the committee by majority the floor I'm going to put whatever votes that we now have ahead of us, which may take us past 10 o'clock at standing order to 940. So the first vote will be on the amendments that the committee recommended. We will then go to the amendment in the name of Winston Peters and subsequently follow the process after their if I'll call the boats on the voices first when we get to the main man if a personal vote is required if there is a division, and maybe we should indicate, can I just say to the gallery you have been well behaved. I just asked for some decorum while we do this voting. Thank you very much. The question is that the amendments recorded by the government Administration Committee by majority be agreed to those are their opinion will say I country now. The eyes have a [01:40:52] party vote. [01:40:56] It's a personal vote for the amendments. So members, I Cooling a personal a personal vote yes, yes, not a pretty heard personal vote co for I offered a party vote and a personal vote was called for. So a personal vote will be held ring the bells the eyes will go to the right. The nose will go to the left abstentions will come to the table tell us for the eyes will be triva Maillard eyes. teller for the nose will be a telephone the nose [01:41:41] kendrell Bakshi. [01:41:43] abstentions will be recorded by the clock and proxy votes must be marked as such. [01:42:05] The results, the Isaiah 66, the nose at 21 and the extinctions to the for the motion from the select committee amendments is agreed to unlock the doors [01:42:21] unlock the doors. [01:42:22] The next question is the amendment in the name of the right honorable Winston Peters, which is an order. So the question is that a referendum be held at the time of the next general election to decide whether the marriage act 1955 should be amended to recognize marriage between two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity? Those are their opinion will say I country No. [01:42:53] Personal life [01:42:55] personal vote will be held ringing the bells [01:43:00] The eyes will go to the right the nose will go to the left. abstentions will come to the table. The telephone the eyes will be. blurry Sampson telephone the nose will be the honorable Trevor Miller. [01:43:43] The eyes of 33 the nose or 83. The amendment is not agreed to unlock the doors [01:43:50] unlock the doors. [01:43:56] We come now to the vote on the second reading The question is emotion be agreed to those that opinion will say I country no [01:44:08] personal life [01:44:11] I personal vote will be held ring the bells eyes will go to the right nose will go to the left abstentions will come to the table telephone the eyes will be honorable triva Mela tell us for the nos liris epsteen epsteen shins will be recorded by the clock. proxy votes must be marked as such [01:44:44] may lead Yep. [01:44:55] There are a couple of procedural things that have to be done after I declared the vote. So just that members to contain their salutations etc. Or grief stricken calls whatever. So the eyes 77 the nose or 44 the motion is agreed to [01:45:16] unlock the doors. [01:45:29] Order [01:45:35] hits the clock announced. I didn't hear you. Could you do it again? [01:45:41] Marriage definition of marriage Amendment Bill Second Reading [01:45:44] this. This will sit down for committee Sage next sitting day only remains for me to say that the house will stand adjourned until 2pm tomorrow. Good evening, everybody.

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