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Anti-gay campaigner's views sidelined in report

Wed 27 Feb 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Bob McCoskrie Long-time anti-gay equality campaigner and media go-to person for the religious right, Bob McCoskrie, has been all but sidelined in the report of the select committee into marriage equality. During his submission an aggressive McCoskrie had to be warned that he was usurping the function of the committee chair, Ruth Dyson MP. A Family First poll in recent days showed that the majority of New Zealanders support legalised same-sex marriage. Although there was a strong media presence for his Auckland submission the committee itself has given him short shrift. Foreshadowing, early in today's report, its comment on his petition on behalf of Protect Marriage, the MPs give him and his petition to Parliament to ring-fence marriage as the sole domain of heterosexual couples, just three short sentences, the core of which reads: "We considered this petition alongside the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill... We heard evidence from Mr McCoskrie in Auckland on his petition." McCoskrie's petition is really "a separate item of Parliamentary business. We decided early in the process to deal with him concurrently and felt no need to say more than is in our report," says gay committee member and Green MP Kevin Hague. McCoskrie has since issued a press releasing claiming the committee has ignored the views of the majority of submitters who wanted to speak against the bill when it was able to hear only a representative 220 verbal submissions spread between Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. The next reading of the Louisa Wall-sponsored bill is scheduled for March 13th where it will be the subject of a conscience vote, as it was for the first reading.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 27th February 2013 - 5:50pm

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