Arguments flew thick and fast this afternoon for and against the proposed Civil Union legislation as it received its second reading. Supportive MPs argued in the house that the proposed legislation is not radical and is about valuing people and acknowledging diversity. However, Civil Union Bill opponents claimed in the House that it is built on a lie, that it is in reality a gay marriage bill and that recognising relationships outside marriage between and man and a woman undermines the family. National's flip-flopping leader Don Brash said the Government is rushing the legislation as it seeks to change the moral fabric of New Zealand society. Labour MP David Benson-Pope, who introduced the legislation, defended it against charges that it is "a piece of political correctness.” “It's about human rights,” he said, adding the view that the Civil Union legislation would extend to a minority the rights most New Zealanders take for granted. Opponent MP Dail Jones of NZ First said that regardless of whether Parliament eventually passes the Bill, into law “Parliament can't change the laws of nature.” Bill promoter Rev. Margaret Mayman says the suggestion that the bill be put to the public in a referendum "is against the 1993 human rights legislation.” She and a number of political commentators are suggesting the solid vote in favour of the Bill, 65 to 55, indicates it is likely to be passed in its third reading next week.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Thursday, 2nd December 2004 - 12:00pm
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