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Parliament: first 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 GIFs and proceedings. [00:00:12] I call on members order of the day number for [00:00:16] marriage definition of marriage amendment though through St. Louis was [00:00:22] killed and Mr. speakeasy in Coto de tour [00:00:28] of marriage amendment bill now the way the first time I nominate the government Administration Committee to consider the bill, Mr. Speaker, there was a wall. I am proud to be the sponsor of this film before the house which seeks to define marriage as between two people, regardless of the six sexual orientation or gender identity. It is generally known as the bill which will enable marriage equality between consenting adults underpinned by principles of love, fairness and equality of opportunity for all New Zealand citizens. The bill has attracted passionate reactions from a number of quarters, and the result of that patient has seen statements that reflect the diversity of opinions across our society. This ability to engage in to make a statement and to have a say about this issue is fundamental. And I want to highlight that this is an important aspect of a modern democratic society. [00:01:25] The starting [00:01:25] point for this bill Reese with our role on the international stage. In 1944, when the founding documents of the United Nations, the United Nations Charter was being developed, New Zealand push for a stronger focus on human rights. And in 1948, we invite an important and effective role and drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We saw the need for such a declaration and participated in its instigation and development. This is not surprising given that we lead the world and enabling woman to have the right to vote. We did that in 1893. And it took the United States and other 27 years to reach that same point. That sexual orientation as a ground of unlawful discrimination is not a matter of dispute. And 1993 we as a country, I mean that the Human Rights Commission Act 19 1977 [00:02:26] to outlaw discrimination on a wide variety of grounds including sexual orientation. This is what we must always remember when we discuss this issue. This issue will make all citizens and people of New Zealand equal under the law, given that currently, same gender couples cannot obtain a marriage license from the state. What my bill does not do is require any personal church to carry out a marriage if it does not fit with the beliefs of the celebrant, or the religious interpretation, two chairs. Section 29 remains in place and makes it clear that once a marriage license is obtained by a capital, it does not oblige a minister or celebrant to marry that capital. That is the situation now and nothing will change. And because we have freedom of religion and New Zealand, no religious body is bound to marry a capital if it marriages adults with their religious belief for churches and religious institutions, such discrimination would be justified under section five of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. Based on the right to freedom of religion, specifically the manifestation of religion and belief under Section 15 of the sect. It is the state's role to uphold our laws in our international obligations, and to ensure everyone has equality under the law. The church came discriminate, but the state should not in cannot. We as parliamentarians belong to the only institution and New Zealand our Parliament that makes our laws and upholds not only these laws, but our international obligations as well. [00:04:13] It is not the state's role to sanction, heterosexuality or homosexuality. We recognize that as a country in 1986, when we decriminalized homosexual acts, nor is it the state's role to judge the marriages of its citizens. civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage is a governmental institution, irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with the marriage laws of the state. Marriages an institution predates government and Christianity, it has been part of civilizations and cultures and his over that time changed dramatically. same sex marriage between men was not uncommon in the days of the Roman Emperor Nero, the Catholic Church initially so the institution of marriage is tainted and undesirable and advocated chastity and celibacy. Once the church adopted and adapted marriage was for life, it could not be dissolved. married women assume the identity of the husband and he received all her property. By marriage the legal doctrine of curvature means a woman had no legal status. She could not own property in turn to contracts or earn money or obtain an education without her husband's consent. The church and state has at different times refused to marry people who have been divorced, refuse to marry of people of different faiths and refuse to marry people of different races. Those restrictions have changed because they were not fear angellist women were not able to be guardians of the children upon a divorce or separation. A law was needed to change that, for women to property required law changes. As recently as 1984, a woman was only able to obtain a divorce from her husband, if there was another cause alongside adultery, such as extreme cruelty, desertion, or insist and men however, could obtain a divorce immediately on the basis of his wife's adultery. [00:06:23] These are all parts of the historical matrix that is marriage. Thankfully, the need to change some of the laws has been recognized and implemented. with women obtaining the right to vote and finally having legal status, the greatest tech transformation of marriage began. There are a number of shocking historical facts that surround the subject. And we balk at how in a civilized society, this could happen. Today is the time to open the institution of marriage to all people who are eligible, there is no reasonable ground on which the state should any citizen, the right to enter the institution of marriage if he or she chooses. That is not the process of inclusion, and to any person concerned about their own beliefs and how they wish to celebrate marriage, it is important to always remember that this fellow allows a couple to only obtain a marriage license. It does not mean that a minister or celebrant must marry the capital section 29 of the marriage in 1955 says that in this will not change. Some people have suggested the church cannot share its view about marriage because of Section 55 or 56 of the Marriage Act. Section 56 says that a person cannot stay in another person's marriage is not legal. That does not consume the general view of marriage, but it's directed to an individual and the reality is that once sanctioned by law, the marriage is legal, and no church person should be stating otherwise. I want to highlight two specific concert says if my bill becomes law, under Section three of our current adoption act, a joint application to adopt can only be made by spouses or by the booth parents in his or her spouse as spouses as a marital partner. So if you are married, you espouses the fall under the current wording of the adoption act, same sex marital patent as espouses would be able to make a joint application to adopt [00:08:28] the shortcomings in our current adoption act. And the care of children reform bill that is also on the ballot would be unaffected by this bill. Also an obvious consequential amendment as section two officially subsection two of the booths marriages and relationships registration 819 95. [00:08:49] This provision limits a trans person who is married and who gets a family court declaration under Section 28 of the SEC to change the six details from having those details amended on a booth certificate, the section should be deleted, a marriage has stood strong through the significant change of one partner transitioning from one six to another should remain recognized under New Zealand law. And we need persons marriages performed has never been the state's business, whether it be cultural, religious or civil. It is the decision for the couple and they found out what the spill will do is and I will make decision to be made and for all people to have the same choices about how they make a commitment to one another. We are requires a license the state should not exclude any citizen that is otherwise eligible to exclude two people from obtaining a marriage license based on the sexual orientation and gender identity is not tolerable. And we have an opportunity as a parliament to rectify this discriminatory and equal and unclear application of the law. [00:09:53] Hilda [00:10:20] order before I put the question call the next speaker I must remind our guests and the gallery. They cannot take part in any proceedings in the house matches they may wish to members and visitors in the gallery cannot applaud or express any view on the debate in the house. I apologize that but those are the rules [00:10:38] of the of the house. [00:10:40] The question is that the motion be agreed to [00:10:47] normally go to him and Nikki K. [00:10:49] Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support the marriage definition of marriage amendment bow, Tina Karzai, Tina Coto de una cosa cat greetings. I want to congratulate Lewis award for bringing this bill to the house. Today is an important day for New Zealand. Because I hope that we're on the cusp of passing a piece of legislation that will strengthen the rights and freedoms of a significant group of New Zealanders. And this house there is huge diversity. We were born and places across New Zealand from Tech opponent to Korea, to villages and summer. We have MPs of different ethnicities, Samoan Korean, Chinese parking, [00:11:39] and many more. We have employees of different faiths Muslim to seek to Christian. We are a house of representatives. we reflect the diversity of New Zealand and our families are also different. What binds us together as a shared sense of justice, fairness and a heartfelt belief in the amazing democratic, hardworking country. My grandfather fought for our freedom as too many members relatives in this house. Ronald Reagan once said, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream, it must be fought for protected and handed on them to do the same. New Zealand has a proud history of leading and issues of equality. This bill in my view, is about justice, and the basic rights of every New Zealander [00:12:34] to have equality before the law. [00:12:37] civil unions gave us a step forward and that conferred many rights to New Zealanders who have been deprived of them at the past. However, it did not guarantee every New Zealander the ability to marry the person they love. It did not guarantee and a quality of status of relationship. I go through the inside that this will not only get confers every New Zealander and equality before the law in terms of the relationship. But it gives a dignity and acceptance to a group of New Zealanders not long ago who were criminalized for the people they love. I stand before you today as a member of the National Party. As a national party, we have a strong history of bringing together different groups of New Zealanders. Recently, the Prime Minister commented on the founders of the National Party, he said they thought that the individual freedom promoted by national involved many diverse groups with conflicting interests. Tolerance was the key to working through those conflicts, giving everyone a say, but also ensuring the party ultimately focused on the good of the country as a whole. That is why I accept that being a champion of freedom and is also about accepting that others may hold strong opposing views, and that they have the right to voice and exercise those views in this house. We may vote differently on the side of the house on conscience issues, but we are bound by equality of opportunity. We are a party that has always treated freedom and choice. We are a party that is often regarded the unwelcome hand of the nanny state reaching into the homes of many New Zealand families. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge some of the people and the liberal members in the past that have fought on this side of the house for freedom. When young proposed the first attempt at homosexual Law Reform Maryland wearing dedicated her time in Parliament and her academic career to issues of equality. The right honorable Jeannie Shipley, proposed and help pass the human rights legislation. I also stand before you today as a member for all consensual I represent the wonderful suburbs of grayling constantly and rocky Bay and a huge LGBT community. But it appears to level regardless of the fact that I'm a member of the National Party and a member for consensual. I support this bill because I actually believe it is the right thing to do. I know the arguments in opposition. I do not believe that tradition is a good reason to block same six capitals from the ability to marry. If we had accepted and this has the arguments of tradition in woman would have never got the vote and woman would not be sitting in this chamber this evening. In terms of religion, there will be ministers and people of different faiths supporting the bill and some who oppose it. Some have raised issues of religious freedom. And I believe those issues can be worked through it Select Committee. I know how important the spill is for many young New Zealanders. Yeah, New Zealanders overwhelmingly support this film. When I look to the future of this country, and the many people that will come after us in this house. I believe if this legislation does not pass today, it will eventually pass. I meet young New Zealanders every day who are who are very diverse. They are more diverse in the previous generation. And I have a high level of tolerance and respect for people's differences. They do not shun those differences. In fact, they celebrate the I stand here as a New Zealander with eight siblings. I have had lots of parents, several skip parents. [00:16:43] I have a mother who is a boyfriend of 25 years and I have a father who has several marriages dead I think you have used my question. [00:16:54] The point that I make is that New Zealand family structures are very diverse. And I'm major reason that I support this bill is that I want every New Zealander and I cannot deny any New Zealander the ability to marry the person they love. I stand here as a New Zealander that believes not just an equality of the lower, but also someone who has seen both people prejudiced and teased and abroad light of day in this country, I have seen the subtle prejudice. The people who say the partners are not invited to work factions. [00:17:35] The people who feel uncomfortable holding hands down the street, or who may not be invited to the family Christmas. I see it through my elected office. I see it in the street. the prevention of prejudice is not just the role of parliamentarians in this house, our country would be a lot stronger if we all practice it practice the values of greater tolerance, respect, understanding and compassion for fellow New Zealanders. I have met through my office, people who escaped come out to the friends, the families, the colleagues in the community. In fact, the saddest result of prejudice that I have seen, has been as reflected in the high number of youth LGBT suicides. Some of these people have taken their life because they they cannot see themselves accepted, they cannot see themselves being happy. This parliament has an opportunity through legislation to help change that. I will vote for marriage equality, so that every New Zealander can marry who they want to love. This bill enshrines a principle that society supports loving and committed relationships between two people. And all of over the 10,000 constituency queries that I have had. I have never had anyone who said they want to be married to more than one person. [00:19:06] As I lead you slicer, I support New Zealand, having laws that recognize the value of two people making a commitment to each other in law, my idea of strong family policies, initiatives that support the well being of children, and education and health. And they enable two committed people to be in a relationship have that recognized in law. There is why I believe the institution of marriage can actually be strengthened by enabling more people to marry. I want to acknowledge some people who have been on this road and have fought for freedom within our party. I want to acknowledge Sean top and Shawn Wallace, Megan Campbell, I want to knowledge Tolkien array cuna time. [00:20:08] Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support this marriage equality bill to the house. [00:20:15] Because I believe that this film is fundamentally about justice, freedom, and equality of opportunity. It is actually a reason I'm in the member of the National Party, our country in my view, will be a much better place for enabling every New Zealander to walk with a little more freedom this evening. [00:20:41] I come in this boat to the house. [00:20:48] So William Co. [00:20:52] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand here as an elected representative in this house, elected by the people of Miami is an electorate that is close to my heart. They put me here by giving me the confidence that I would fairly and fully represent them. As the main Member of Parliament, I am privileged with the stewardship that I've been given by the community. And they are key priorities determine the things that I advocate and stand on. They expect me to represent the voice without fear. And even at the risk of standing alone, or being called names that hurt and upset families watching on. With fan of mine, I appreciate that I represent a different point of view. One that is perhaps contrary to the majority view of this house. So to my colleagues whose views may differ from those that I represent, I stand in opposition to this bill, with a total commitment to defend your right to disagree with me. As a member of the Labour Party, we are a broad and diverse party of people with different points of views and almost every issue. And on this particular issue. It is Labour Party policy that this matter be voted on as a matter of conscience. I therefore claim that right to vote on this issue, in accordance with the dictates of my own conscience and allow all MPs the same privilege. This is a matter that is very sensitive for many of my constituency within the Pacific and faith community, even within my own family within the Phoenix of eternity, even within the Pacific same six community. It is a difficult issues and the views are very divided. Many in the community want parliament to focus on the more vote weightier matters of putting food on the table and paying the bills and not on matters that are considered private, personal and religious in nature. And the morn community. Many recognize some on same six relationships and form a thing to the extent that they are given very high ranking titles, but everyone conducts their fears within the boundaries of culture and religion. I understand the desire of the gay community who want to have same sex marriage. But many who oppose this bill, believe that the civil union and the statutory relationship laws already provide these legal rights to same sex couples. Many believe that this legislation ought to be strengthened, rather than changing marriage to incorporate same sex marriage. If parliament is to change this long health standard of marriage between a man and a woman by passing this legislation, we not only change the definition of marriage, we change its meaning and the fundamental basis of marriage. This change will have enduring ramifications for future generations. We do not know what those ramifications are. But there is concern within my community. It is not a small change. It is a significant move. All I would say to members of parliament and to the wider community, as we have conversations about this bill and its ramifications, I would implore everyone on both sides of the argument to keep the conversation safe, respectful, and dignified. Peace to you. [00:24:33] Kevin Hi, [00:24:36] Mr. Speaker. [00:24:38] I'm proud to stand tonight to congratulate my friend and colleague Louis of all. And to say that all Green Party MPs will be voting for this bill. [00:24:50] The New Zealand Adolescent Health Research Group, has shown that teenagers who are same sex attracted have disproportionately high rates, alcohol and other drug abuse problems, depression, other mental health problems, self harm, unsafe sexual behavior, including HIV risk, and suicide attempts. In 2007, 20% [00:25:17] of these young people had attempted suicide in the past year, that's five times the rate of their heterosexual peers. All of these issues are strongly associated with psychosocial risk risk factors, like low self esteem, and feelings of isolation, and worthlessness. Research is unequivocal that these in turn, are very strongly associated with the experience of discrimination, or alternatively, the experience of hiding one sexual orientation to avoid discrimination. But I worked at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. In the early 1990s, we produced a poster that said simply HIV attacks the body prejudice attacks the spirit, both can kill [00:26:10] the effects of this corrosive social environment on the individual also include anti gay bullying, harassment, and violence. If we want to do something about the terrible burden of misery, illness, and death being faced by young, lesbian, gay and transgender people, then we have to do something about prejudice and discrimination. For me, that is why marriage equality is so important. [00:26:42] The message that the state currently seems through this discriminatory law undermines these young people and fuels and gives heart to prejudice. That is why it must change. [00:26:55] law that treats all couples equally does the reverse it under the minds prejudice, it empowers the marginalized, and it creates a healthier and heavier society. That's why even if civil unions carried exactly the same rights and responsibilities, they would still not be enough. All of the time, that heterosexual couples have access to the status of marriage. And we do not a message it seems that we are less than normal. And if anyone disputes that, imagine if the situation were reversed. How would hate to a sexual people feel if they couldn't marry? My partner, I have been together for 28 years this month. My guess is that there is longer than most heterosexual marriages. At the beginning, we could have been fired from our jobs kicked out of our home. Tonight goods and services at arrested and imprisoned for being who we are and expressing our love. To allow us the right to marry would right and injustice bring great benefit not only to us, but to all of those marginalized young people. And ham, absolutely nobody. In the words of a former and great member of this house, Brian Donnelly, I used to often tell my students, you don't make your own candle shine more brightly by blowing out somebody else's. And the converse of that adage, is my own candle will not grow more dimly, if I should live somebody else's. He asked this question, how will my own marriage be diminished? By the passage of this legislation? He was talking about civil unions? The answer? And I'm convinced it is the correct answer is it will not make one iota of difference. If that is the case, what is so dreadfully wrong, and allowing other New Zealanders have a different disposition to make long term public commitment as someone I love. I have friends right across this house. And I want to particularly acknowledge those who have changed their minds to support this bill. And also those who will oppose tonight but have genuinely open minds to the possibility of change. But I say to others, your vote on this bill will stand against your name forever. It is up to you on which side of history you will be remembered. [00:29:36] The rise [00:29:36] honorable Winston Peters [00:29:40] Mr. Speaker, Zealand has a proud democratic tradition. The principles of democracy are deeply ingrained in our political culture. We are one of the nine countries worldwide that can claim an unbroken line of democracy that is holding elections every three years since 1854. The concept every adult is entitled to an equal say, is a fundamental part of who we are as a nation. And yet, there is still an assumption in this house that members no better than the public when it comes to issues of morality. That conscience vote exists because it's believed that MPs process some sort of unique ethical view or intellectual capacity that entitles interested our greatest say, then the ordinary voter that has an archaic belief that has no place in a modern democracy, or 21st century New Zealand, this type of conscience versus a relic of a bygone age. It's inherently anti democratic and it's time in peace on both sides of the house consented to the dustbin of history. That is, there is no reason why the public should be denied the opportunity to the side, this debate, the management of Bill will change the institutional marriage as we know it. This meta is by definition, one public morality. And if you Zealand is to have a public morality, it must be decided by the public, the voters of New Zealand. We propose an amendment to him as well as bill that would require a binding referendum to be held upon the bills Betteridge, which referendum depending on the outcome would be a catalyst as to where the bill becomes law otherwise, their proposal was rejected. on the grounds that according to some media driven polls, 60% of New Zealanders support same sex marriage, that may or may not be the case. But the only way to test and determine that is by way of referendum. Such a major legislative change should be based on the collective will of the people, not 121 temporary empowered Members of Parliament is able to should make these decisions collectively as a nation. There are others here, this institution and outside of would played, but MPs are elected to make these tough decisions. If that's true, which party campaigned on this issue. And where was this issue lead up to 2011 election? Where is the transparency of campaign commitments that will lead some MPs to believe and conclude that they were elected on this issue? The fact is they were not for at no time. Did they ever campaign on it. This problem is now wrestling with alcohol legislation, which they themselves decided upon and created unholy Miss. This is a problem that decided to legalize prostitution without real safeguards. And now all over New Zealand companies are alarmed at what is happening and either to save business and community areas. What could possibly be wrong, or unprincipled, or unethical or immoral, and letting the people decide a moral issue for themselves? What unique insights understanding or greater level of perception do parliamentarians are supposed to be have that are not shared by the New Zealand people? This part began 19 years ago, firmly believing in the far greater use of reference to mandate we have never changed our view on that. even to the extent that we put a major macro economic issue like compulsory savings to the people of this country in a referendum in 997. We could have just taken the arrogant view, then that we should just rammed through Parliament, but we didn't, and where the public but as a different view to ours, we accepted the public's right to have their say. And since that time, we've seen all manner of changes, such as the abolition of the Privy Council, and is your honor system, the betterment of Queens Council, for example, all ran through this parliament, the last two being overturned by later government. It begs the question is this parliamentary superiority of transgender, transgender American, not from from New Zealand and Fiji, where the military have seized government and constantly argue that they are backed by the people? And many of us have responded rightly, I say, if that so why not hold an election and prove it and thereby remove all doubt. Likewise, tonight we say, Let's ask the people obtain a proper, durable mandate. [00:34:18] You know, it's truly our honor. see so many people swearing daily, their allegiance to democracy as MPs do every day. And yet when a true opportunity for real democracy, expanded democracy is presented before them. So many have no desire to allow to happen. Those of us who argue for full public referendum on this issue, satisfied to accept the public's will. We are satisfied to take out instructions from the people Waverly believe the members [00:34:50] time has expired, [00:34:52] so I [00:34:52] didn't hit the bells. Go remember one minute bill? [00:34:55] Well, I'll just finish off then [00:34:58] I'll Eric how's the man but in here, I apologize. was my fault allow them to finish? My fault I didn't bring along enough [00:35:05] to speak. [00:35:07] What grounds to those who think otherwise possibly have? one has to wonder what priority something paves have when again today, hundreds of people face losing their jobs, such as another tranche of gold miners on the West Coast? any emergency debate about them? Or do we just consign hundreds of families on the scrap paper the free market and call this a more important issue? Therefore, the management of Bill without a referendum is opposed been easy on first, we oppose this Parliament again ignoring the people's view, whatever the people's view may be. And I asked, Why are so many here, not prepared to trust the people on these issues? [00:35:51] Some Macklemore. [00:35:54] Mr. stakeout when this bill was drawn, I indicated that I would vote against it. The reason that I gave to the media and my constituents that that time remain important to me. But the intense public interest shine on this matter has prompted me to go much further in my thinking. I approach the issue as one who respects and wishes to protect the institution of marriage in its historical and current form. I believe that a major purpose of New Zealand civil union legislation, which was passed before I became an MP was to protect the legal rights of gay and de facto couples, in my opinion, if more protection is needed, and it may be, it should be achieved by amending that legislation, not the Marriage Act. I've offered to meet supporters of this bill in my electorate to discuss what could be achieved by such a compromise. I accept that ALS is a secular society. But for me and many other New Zealanders. Our attitude is also deeply embedded in our Christian belief in the sanctity of marriage. I [00:36:56] chose that word deliberately. [00:36:58] Not because I expect everyone else view marriage in that way. But because it's how I see it. And New Zealanders have a right to understand what the values and beliefs of their MPs, especially at times such as this, one of my favorite players is Robert boats a man for all seasons. Tonight, for me might be best described as Isiah Thomas More moment. For some members of this house. And for many members of the public, especially those in the younger demographic, this is a fairly easy question to answer. They have emailed and written to me and posted their views on Facebook, urging me to change my mind. to them. It's a simple human rights issue. We are all created equal, we should be treated equally under the law, and the state has no rights. Nor is there any public interest in denying New Zealanders the legal authority to marry on the grounds that both partners are male or both or female. For me, however, and many other New Zealanders The issue is not that simple. Nor is it a question of the state denying human rights of some citizens. I would never condone the suppression of my gay friends and constituents human rights, I do not judge them nor regard them in any way as inferior each day. So we commence our settings in this house with a prayer that we will conduct our affairs and those of this country to the glory of God's holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice and the public welfare, peace and tranquility of New Zealand. It has become fashionable to demean the role of churches and society. But our modern nation was founded on Christian values with a rich Christian heritage dating back many centuries brought to the shores by our ancestors. That heritage underpins our democratic tradition, our legal system, our traditional family structures and the freedoms that we so often take for granted. We should not take those institutions lightly. And in methods such as the issue we are debating tonight, we should be respectful of the voices of our church leaders. Although our is essentially a Christian heritage, we are increasingly a multicultural and a multi faith society. While there are many differences reflected in that diversity, attitudes to marriage, and its special status as a relationship between one man and one woman who honor and remain faithful to each other are consistent. I hope we will hear from representatives of those various faith communities during this debate. Yesterday 70 Christian church leaders including numerous national heads of major church denominations, both Catholic and Protestant, released a joint personal statement in response to this bill, and I believe it is important that it become part of the record of this first reading debate. We have made this joint statement said the Reverend Dr. Richard war, because Members of Parliament need to be in no doubt what mainstream Christian views are on this matter. This issue is not about equality, but about the nature of marriage, all human beings are equal in the sight of both garden society. But not all relationships are the same. Marriage has uniquely been about the union of male and female, the state should not presume to re engineer a basic human institution. The complementary role of both male and female is basic to the very character of marriage, along with having and raising children, same sex relationships are intrinsically different, so can never be regarded as true marriage. Marriages, we understand that sir has for many centuries been the basis of the traditional family unit. during my lifetime, the family has come under increasing attack in a variety of ways. And I believe our society is much poorer for that. In the joint statement from the churches, the Minister, the ministers urged parliamentarians to take seriously that, for a very significant proportion of the New Zealand public marriage is more than just a legal agreement or social contract, but has a sacred character to it, and that many people Christian and otherwise feel very strongly that the nature of marriage should not be integrated with Sir, I understand the distress of many in our community around this issue. I wish I could say more and respond more to those representations I've received. But I do pray that we will make the right decision this evening. [00:41:15] Dr. David Clarke [00:41:18] speaker, some senior colleagues, I respect greatly he requested I consider seeking a call on this contentious bill and haven't given the meta thought by now staying in the house to speak my truth on this matter. [00:41:34] Many of you following this debate will know that I am a Presbyterian minister. [00:41:39] I've been a part of similar debates in the church in recent decades. [00:41:45] But in this house, I do not formally represent the church. I represent the need north and and this debate my own conscience. [00:41:55] Across the church as across society, there are many views on the issues of sexuality and marriage. [00:42:05] Like all in peace, I have been lobbied heavily by people on both sides of the argument [00:42:11] on our light, a couple of stories that have come to me through that experience. The first is of an elderly gaming, a friend of mine who petition me not to support this legislation. Because in his view, he fought for civil unions. He fought for equality before the law, and he got hurt. He didn't want the heterosexual baggage of property rights and other history that is associated with marriage. And broadly, he points to the Christian scriptures, where he says there is no model for marriage that is consistent. What we have in the Old Testament is largely polygamy. And there is an absence of advice, certainly from Jesus in the new to on the topic of marriage. [00:43:03] I suspect he would say it would be on the view that marriage is frequently paraded by in the media, by those who claim a Christian viewpoint [00:43:16] is really a thinly veiled defense of Victorian morality. [00:43:21] A second person who petition be against supporting this was a young pastor from a church and my electric, who was very genuinely consumed by some research he had read, that suggested that children who grow up raised by parents who are not their biological parents, likely to be worse off and have worse life outcomes. He was very serious and genuine and his concerns. [00:43:48] I also received many voices in favor of this legislation, and particularly from younger members of the gay, lesbian, bi and transgender community. And many people, the community can simply not understand what the fuss is about. [00:44:06] And I think also of gay and lesbian couples, I know who are both who are fantastic parents of fantastic children. [00:44:18] Personally, I would prefer a model like the gym and one with civil unions are conducted by state by the state for all couples. And marriages are carried out outside the states grass, for religious or other reasons. [00:44:35] But that's not what's on offer here. [00:44:39] I've been persuaded in this debate by two things in particular. [00:44:45] Marriage is to most people, a secular term, certainly for younger folk. [00:44:51] And I know for example, in the Presbyterian Church, where I was trained, and have practiced that marriage was never regarded as a sacrament. That's why Presbyterian ministers were amongst the first in New Zealand to conduct garden weddings. [00:45:07] The second thing that has persuaded me is that overseas there is still discrimination against those who cannot claim marriage who cannot take the marriage box. [00:45:20] The strongest support for marriage equality that I've experienced has come from the age group most likely to be engaging in marriage in the future. [00:45:30] It is for those people who will be inheriting and caring for the institution of marriage, that I am supporting the bill. [00:45:38] A mindful that many of my colleagues from across the house who would claim a strong faith background do not support this view. I am respectful of their beliefs. And while I know that they have carefully and briefly examine their own conferences, are mindful that they may come to a different view to me, my thoughts are with them and what people resist, personally, with the impact of this bill on the lives. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, [00:46:07] Dr. Paul Hutchison [00:46:09] speaker, [00:46:10] from the outset, I want to acknowledge Melissa wall, and her thoughtfulness and preparedness to speak with me at very short notice both knowledgeably, and incredibly wisely on this very important bill. Secondly, might I acknowledge my constituents and who Noah, who have answered many surveys that I have put out, and have thoughtfully and with great effort and passion sent me many emails and letters regarding this bill. I've thought long and hard about it. And despite the Herald depicting me this morning, as voting against it, and many attempts, I simply cannot instruct, I cannot construct a strong enough intellectual, moral, health or even spiritual argument against it. Consequently, I will be voting for it. [00:47:19] As [00:47:19] was also I mentioned by the Herald a few weeks ago, within a few hours of this bill being drawn from the ballot, I had the Christian lobby in my local electorate, asking for an appointment. And they certainly gave me their very clear views, which I respect. But subsequent to that, I have had many conversations throughout the electorate, from people from many walks of life. I very much respect that the Western world sees the major issue is about ensuring that all New Zealanders have equal rights, regardless of gender, per second orientation. We have a separate system of separation of church and state. And this bill clearly relates only to civil law and preserves the rights of churches to the side who they may marry. I very much appreciate it very much hope that the churches appreciate their fair, I would certainly be against the bill. If that was not the case. My initial reticence in supporting the bill came from my concern that some of the issues around it have not been fully explored by way of national conversations, that there is no strong New Zealand evidence base, and that we are traveling fast to come to result on an issue that many New Zealanders on either side feel very deeply about issues that have profound sociological implications. [00:48:56] I ask [00:48:57] should the New Zealand Parliament be in the first instant initiating expert or select committee inquiries into the new birth technologies adoption, the spectrum of sexuality and gender difference? Children rights and the evidence from the New Zealand experience so far? Be it fairly sure. I understand that currently, a female adult in New Zealand can adopt both a boy and a girl. But a male can only adopt a boy and only an exceptional circumstances a girl with the passage of this bill that will change instantaneously. And there is a big change that does need exploring. But in the end, it boils down to the same present prayer premise that all New Zealanders should have the right to civil marriage, irrespective of race, sex or gender. I was deeply concerned to hear that gay adolescents have a suicide rate five to eight times that of heterosexual adolescence, and a country that already has an appallingly high suicide rate. And on conversations with the honorable Marion straight, and Kevin, hey, they both told me that it will make a profound difference to the marginalization that adolescents feel from a health perspective. We should be doing everything possible to create an environment in New Zealand, where everyone feels they're included. accept that. I'm impressed at the Anglican Church here in New Zealand is moving albeit slowly, but progressively by appointing a commission of study led by Sir an uncertain young and talented really, I want to see these issues widely debated and studied in the New Zealand context, and I hope they will submit to the select committee. Finally, Mr. Baker, I sincerely hope that the committee process will be thorough, robust, and will be committed to it only address the sort of issues I have bought up and many more. While I personally would have preferred a slower process. Regarding this legislation. As I said earlier, I simply cannot construct an intellectual moral health or spiritual argument against it. In fact, the reverse is very much the case. I supported [00:51:32] Sean Hayes [00:51:33] as the speaker and 2005 while campaigning for election to this parliament, many people express their concern and anger that then wire up a Member of Parliament Georgina buyer failed to represent their views on the issue of prostitution reform. When elected, I undertook to reflect the electorate's views, and I will do that on this legislation designed to promote the Labour Party social reform agenda. I trust the instincts of my constituents. They provide a perspective which is not imposed by this house, nor force. Whatever differences they may be among us, as they must be, nothing will shake my conviction from supporting the mark majority view in my electorate. My judgment on this bill is in state with many constituents I spoken to on the street and the shops, the businesses and the bars between my power a mountain bar. like them, I consider the bill to be a sideshow. There are more serious issues which this house should be focused on. my constituents don't understand why a change in civil marriage is important, they say will impact on a few we noticed in the daily life by even fewer people, and have minimal if any direct impact on most New Zealanders. In response to my request for constituents views, I have received several thousand replies by way of phone calls, letters and emails. constituents who support the bill argue that discrimination of any kind has no question in New Zealand. They say we need to look no further than the laws and acted by this Parliament over many years, which are broken down barriers and open doors for all who live in this country. They say our Bill of Rights Act affirms that everyone has the right to freedom from discrimination, and they are human right x prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet two men or two women are prohibited from marrying. They say that in the 21st century, New Zealand we should not be willing to accept a legal system, which effectively cast one group of people into the role of second class citizens on the grounds of the secure sexual orientation. Those are my electorate who oppose the bill do so for a range of reasons. They have widely different political views that have differing religious beliefs. They are both religious and non religious views sit against the same sex marriage. for Christians. Marriage involves balance before God and witnesses for a man and a woman to commit to one another, to procreate and to raise children. For all religions marriage is not defined by love. It is defined as a union between a man and a woman for procreation. Many of my constituents believe marriage was introduced into society through religious channels, and religion shows marriage to have anything to do with same partnerships. For these people. It is not possible for marriage to be redefined beyond the boundaries of a woman and a man. They worry that if marriage is redefined once it could continue to be redefined. They see this bill is legalizing by stealth, the adoption of children by gay parents. They fear the extension of boundaries to include relationships. We do not as a society currently condone polygamous relationships, incestuous relationships. These are very genuine concerns to many of my constituents. Mr. Speaker, there are many arguments from the religious perspective. However, increasingly, marriage is not based on one religion or on a on a union. Some constituents point out that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and predates even the Bible as a foundation for our society. To the mid note that the Roman Emperor Nero around 900 bc entered into marriage with a male slave. I see plenty of unions take place in New Zealand between a man and woman without any religious context. These are sometimes called marriages and use a celebrant rather than a priest. Or sometimes these couples choose to have a civil union. Some couples choose not to acknowledge their relationship in any way other than by living together. Many in my electric consider same sex couples to have the same means of acknowledging the relationship as hetero sex couples through several union. constituents then asked why the same sex couples need to reclassify this union as a marriage and New Zealand civil union offers the same rights and benefits two parties as spouses to a marriage. The only major difference apart from labels associated is that unlike a marriage civil unions are a civil matter not conducted through a church. It is obvious these these issues expose a much deeper question for churches and the wider community, what order be the involvement of the state and what are essentially religious and spiritual sacraments. Some constituents would rather they were a complete divorce between the states recognition of a marriage so we're Union and the churches Solomon ization blessing of matrimony, as in the case of many European countries. The fact is, a civil union is the same as a marriage and a roses a road so the legal issue appears mere semantics. Each of us present today are fleeting transients on the stage of this country's history, we do not have the right to sweep aside the traditions which exists in our communities, it is as alone to deal with as we wish it is not as learn to deal with this we wish this place belongs to every New Zealander. That is why I have asked my constituent Hello should represent the views of this issue order the time has expired. So they want me to vote against the bill. [00:57:12] Jamie Lee Ross, [00:57:15] speak here I'm pleased to have an opportunity to outline for the house the reasons why I will be voting in favor of this bill. About nine years ago when I decided to join a political party. I considered carefully the values and beliefs that I feel strongly about. After some time, I decided to join the national pattern, because national most closely resembles what I believe in. Tonight when I walk into the ies lobby to vote on this marriage amendment bill. It's because I want to stay true to the core beliefs of the National Party. Three of these beliefs are equal citizenship and equal opportunity, individual freedom and choice. And Sharon families and caring communities. Were not considered the reasons why I came here into politics. But I can set to the strong values and principles I believe in, I simply cannot see a way in which I could vote against this bill. Believing and equal citizenship and equal opportunity is not a part time belief. If we just stand in this house and champion the rights of New Zealanders to be treated equally, we must apply that principle across the board. As a New Zealander of a younger generation, I find it hard to fathom that not long before I was born, we actually had a law that said homosexuality was illegal. I also find it hard to understand why it wasn't until a few years ago that Parliament allowed same sex couples to have their relationships, recognized and law. And now I find myself questioning why I as a heterosexual New Zealander, have it legislative right to marry that same sex couples do not. When my wife and I got married four years ago, we did because we love each other. We did so because we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other. We chose to get married because we could end because that's what you do. When you want to have legal recognition of your relationship with the most wonderful, caring and beautiful person in your life. You get married. Most New Zealanders have the ability to get married, like Lucy and I did. But without this legislation passing a portion of society doesn't have that opportunity leads me to question to the question of why why should Parliament tell some New Zealanders that I don't have the same freedoms as others? Why should Parliament tell the nation that we believe in individual freedom and personal responsibility, but only when we agree with the type of relationship the person has then I believe strongly in individual freedom. I believe strongly and only Zealanders being able to determine their own destiny. And if two loving consenting adults want to get married, I'm not affected in any way. Allowing same sex couples to marry has absolutely no impact on couples that are already married. And we shouldn't be afraid of it. [01:00:21] We've all been receiving a lot of emails today. I don't agree with everything that people are saying. But I do find myself agreeing with a recurring theme. Marriage is the foundation for a loving family environment. That is true. If it is what we believe is the fundamental basis of marriage, then it can only be an argument in favor of the spill. Because like it or not, up and down this country, children are being raised and homes by same sex couples. Efforts believe that marriage provides greater protections for those two Fs believe that marriage gives those children more loving and caring environment to grow up and then we should do it for those children. Mr. Speaker, the Lord allowed me the good fortune to marry my wife and bring a child into a loving, married relationship. I believe in individual freedom, and equal opportunity. I believe all New Zealanders should have the same freedoms and opportunities regardless of their sexual orientation. I don't feel free to and I don't think there is anything abnormal about being gay or lesbian. What is abnormal is believing that only some people can be as happy as those of us living in a stable, loving and caring marriage. I hope this Parliament can extend the opportunity to get married to all New Zealanders. [01:02:00] First of all, in reply, [01:02:01] Kira, no Mr. Speaker, was the game of speaker and this closing reply. I would like to acknowledge that the fight for all New Zealanders to be recognized as equal citizens under the law as one that has been fought and out here or around 50 years. into the end, I wish to acknowledge two women who are here tonight, who were the litigants in the quarter case that brought this issue to the fore and recognize that changes when necessary to bring about equality. We met as for parliament, [01:02:30] Jones, Jocelyn [01:02:31] and Jeannie Rowan applied for a marriage license in 1995. Almost 10 years after homosexual law reform and were denied. They in two other couples challenge that action through the High Court and Court of Appeal. They then took the method to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to teach that denial against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. incrementally the courage and challenging the discriminatory implement mutation of the provisions and the marriage exit the platform for the consideration of this bill tonight. I want to acknowledge all people involved in the campaign for marriage equality. People from across the political spectrum, representing rainbow groups, queer straight Alliance group. Groups, human rights advocates and groups are religious leadership and communities and many others who are fighting for legalized love. Those who have blogged, those who have shared these stories in the media and those with lead meetings and discussions and our families and communities. Thank you for your solidarity and advancing the rights of other New Zealanders, and proud citizens of our country. I specifically want to acknowledge our Pacific and ethnic communities. I mean, no disrespect to you, your beliefs and values and those of your heritage countries of origin. A valid the purpose and intent of the spell is very clear. It means that the law and the the social and civil institutions that that law governs apply equally to everyone. It means that a couple who so choose can apply for and receive a marriage license from the state. What it does not do is affect the person's own beliefs about marriage. The fact that a couple want to make a commitment to each other by marriage is a cause of celebration, and can only benefit our society in families as a whole. marginalizing and discriminating against particular sectors do not benefit society and families. It is a simple choice. Do we support discriminatory laws or not? I know I don't and hopefully that is true of most of the members of this house. [01:04:45] History tells us that the struggles for the gay community, as with any minority have often been crew. what has been happening in this discussion has been the positive response from younger people across the board is a generational issue. But it is also an issue about personal experience. And the fact that when you have a friend or a family member who is gay, you don't want them to suffer with less rights than you. That is not fear or just equality for all New Zealand citizens under the law is not a moral issue. It is an issue of the inherent equal value and worth of every New Zealand citizen and a modern democratic society. The state currently discriminates that is not fear, or just we should not we should be valuing and including all members of our society, the state doesn't limit a New Zealand citizen and their ability to get a passport. If you are a New Zealand citizen and fill in the forms correctly and meet criteria that apply to all people and pay the fee you will get one. The state doesn't limit a New Zealand citizen and your ability to get a driver's license. If you are in New Zealand citizen and filling the forms correctly and meet criteria [01:06:03] that all people must meet [01:06:05] and pay the fee you will get one. So why do we tolerate the state not giving New Zealand citizens a marriage license based purely on the sexual orientation and gender identity? We know why many of the churches do not support the spell. Fundamentally because the first principle is that homosexuals are sinners and homosexuality is a sin. But in New Zealand, there is clear and transparent separation of church and state. It's about time that separation was recognized within the context of marriage in New Zealand and in the state's role and the marriage it through the issuing of a marriage license. No data Tina. Tina. [01:06:52] Thank you. [01:07:14] Quarter. [01:07:15] The question is that the motion be agreed to Those of that opinion will say I [01:07:22] to the country know the eyes have it. [01:07:28] is a personal vote called for a personal vote has been called for a personal vote will be held ring the bells [01:07:41] the eyes will go to the right. The nose to the left. abstentions will come to the table. The teller I do not have no [01:07:53] the teller for the [01:07:54] eyes will be Leanne Dalziel. The teller for the nose will be. [01:08:01] We need a teller for the nose. [01:08:10] quarterly and Teller for the eyes. [01:08:16] To McIndoe [01:08:16] will be teller for the nose. abstentions will be recorded by the [01:08:21] clock. [01:08:22] proxy votes must be marked as such. [01:08:35] The [01:08:35] question is that the marriage definition of marriage amendment bill be now read the first time [01:08:50] the eyes [01:08:53] are 78. [01:09:21] Nose 40 there are no extensions. The eyes have a [01:09:37] marriage definition of marriage amendment bill first freedom. [01:09:41] The question [01:09:42] is that the marriage definition of marriage amendment bill be considered by the government Administration Committee. Those have that opinion will say I the country know the eyes have it. [01:09:56] I call on members order of the day number five [01:10:02] lock the doors minimum [01:10:05] minimum wage amendment

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