Tim Barnett's Prostitution Reform Bill was passed into law last night by Parliament, but only by a single vote. A packed public gallery cheered and applauded the announcement, which has come after a week of intense lobbying leading up to the vote from both sides of the decriminalisation argument. "I think right has won. We have created world-leading law. This is an historic moment. We have completed the unfinished business," Mr Barnett told his supporters. In an intense debate last night, Georgina Beyer told the House she might have been spared the five years she spent in the sex industry if the bill had been law when she was a teenager. "I support this bill for all the prostitutes I have known who died before the age of 20 because of a society who in its hypocrisy would not allow them the chance to have their own protection," she said. National MP Nick Smith said Barnett was trying to make sex into a commodity, and that ordinary New Zealanders rejected the "anti-family, politically-correct liberal agenda of the Government." The new law comes into effect next Monday.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Thursday, 26th June 2003 - 12:00pm
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