Kevin Hague MPs against the marriage equality Bill are expected to attempt to slow its progress as it goes to its Committee Stage this week. Green MP Kevin Hague says in the Committee Stage, Parliament pretends to be a committee made up of all MPs. He says it does this in order to debate the detail of the drafting of the Bill, and to consider any amendments, called Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs), proposed by MPs. “Sometimes it can whip through quickly, but at other times it can take a long time, because every MP is entitled to take up to three, five minute calls on each part of the Bill,” Hague says. “If MPs are of a mind to stretch debate out on a Bill, this is what they target, because all other debates have only 12 speaking slots. Typically they do this by taking lots of calls, and potentially tabling lots of SOPs. “On our Bill we are anticipating SOPs on several issues, and at this point we don't know whether the whole debate will finish on Wednesday.” Once the Committee Stage is complete, the Bill will have its third reading, which is likely to be on 17 April or 15 May, depending how long the Committee stage lasts. After the third reading there is an automatic process of getting the Governor-General to sign the Bill, and the law will come into force four months afterwards. “ If officials can get the preparation work done faster than that, then we have also provided a mechanism for it to come into force sooner, but most likely it will be late August, or September - think Spring weddings, verdant themes etc,” Hague says.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 25th March 2013 - 9:20am
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