Submissions have opened on Louisa Wall’s bill which would allow same-sex couples to marry, and a number of initiatives have been set up to help the GLBTI community have its say. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill’s next step is the Government Administration Select Committee, after it passed its first reading 80 to 40 in the House last month. The Select Committee is chaired by Labour MP Ruth Dyson, with National MP Chris Auchinvole as Deputy Chair. Members are National MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Eric Roy, Labour MP Trevor Mallard and Green MP Holy Walker. Bakshi and Roy voted against the first reading, while the other members were all in favour. The Select Committee process gives the public the chance to have its say in the form of submissions, which are open now and close on 26 October. The group marriageequality.co.nz has set up a simple submission form, while there is also plenty of information available on Parliament’s website. On Thursday 20 September Wellington’s Queer Avengers are holding a submissions workshop at the community centre at 128 Abel Smith St from 7PM. Experts will cover how a bill becomes law, where you can have impact in the law making process, what to include in a submission and some techniques for writing good submissions. In Auckland on 2 October, bill author Louisa Wall and pro-equality National MP Nikki Kaye will use marriage equality as an example of how the public can make submissions and ensure their voices are heard in Parliament. It’s being held at Library Basement 28 at Auckland University from 5.30PM-7PM. After the submissions are received and hearings take place, the Select Committee will report back, which it’s due to do by 28 February. It may recommend changes to the proposed legislation, after which a second vote will be held at Parliament. If the Bill passes that vote, a third and final vote is required before it can be passed into law.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 13th September 2012 - 11:53am
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