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Gay MP concerned after Utd Future clams up

Tue 17 Sep 2002 In: New Zealand Daily News

Gay MP Tim Barnett has reiterated his concern about the personal religious beliefs of United Future's new MPs after they refused to answer a short questionnaire about those beliefs. Barnett says his concern is aroused “when individual [United Future] MPs voice beliefs clearly at odds with their party position.” The questionnaire, which was not circulated to other parties or MPs, asked the mostly conservative Christian MPs about their attitudes to gay and lesbian issues and their religious beliefs. Many of those MPs have made strongly anti-gay statements in the years before they joined the party. A spokesperson for the United Future said they would not answer because “we felt that the questions were loaded. Additionally, she said, “it is not our policy to answer questionnaires from interest groups that have not been circulated to other MP`s in Parliament. Barnett observes that, being new to Parliament, the MPs have not had their views exposed to public debate. But, he says, “that will happen in time."    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 17th September 2002 - 12:00pm

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