Louisa Wall More than 4,500 submissions have been made on the marriage equality bill through the marriage equality website alone, as the clock ticks down towards tomorrow afternoon’s deadline. “So, it seems there has been an excellent response from our communities including those who believe in equality and non-discrimination the two critical human rights principles of our campaign,” says the bill’s author Louisa Wall. “Of these over 4,500, I am unsure how many want to be heard - everyone that wants to be heard is given that opportunity and in that regard we will have to wait until after submissions close for total submissions and to know what percentages support or oppose marriage equality.” Wall compares the known figures from the one source alone, marriageequality.co.nz, with the total submissions on the civil union bill – where there were 6,350 submissions in total. Of the civil union submissions, 3383 were substantial, while 2967 were form submissions and opposed, and 352 of total submitters choose to be heard. “Of the substantial submissions 74 per cent were opposed and 26 per cent supported the legislation,” she says. Wall adds this was essentially replicated in those that wanted to be heard, where approximately 25 per cent were in support and 75 per cent were against from an analysis conducted by Dr Alison Laurie, School of Gender and Women's studies at Victoria University. Wall says the Select Committee hearings on the bill begin on 7 November with a briefing from officials, and then she will make a submission. “The Committee will then progress through a schedule of submission hearing dates and these will be held in Wellington and at venues outside of Wellington based on where submitters who want to be heard live.” She explains the Committee has a timeframe and will work to achieve a report back by end of February but depending on the numbers that want to be heard that date could be extended if required. “Time will tell,” she says. Wall adds that submissions will become publicly available on the Parliamentary website when they are publicly heard so it will be an ongoing process.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 25th October 2012 - 9:43am
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