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CU Bill "past critical point"

Fri 3 Dec 2004 In: New Zealand Daily News

The Campaign for Civil Unions (CCU) has welcomed the results of today's Second Reading vote on the Civil Union Bill, which it says has progressed the legislation past a critical point. The Campaign anticipates the legislation will be in law by the end of next week. "[We are] very pleased with the result, which had 65 MPs voting in favour of the Bill, 55 against," says Regan Andrew, spokesperson for the CCU. Andrew says that by passing the Civil Union Bill at its second reading yesterday afternoon with a 10 vote margin, with public opinion, Parliament has reaffirmed its view that lack of relationship recognition for defacto and same-sex couples is not acceptable. The Bill is expected to go through its final committee stage next week. National Party leader Don Brash and ACT and United Future MPs are amongst those who have announced plans to amend the Bill in committee to require a referendum before it can come into effect. "We absolutely oppose such proposals," Margaret Mayman of Christians for Civil Unions added. "Human rights should not be the subject of political games. Holding a referendum on whether there should be relationship recognition accessible to same-sex couples is simply not appropriate. Minority rights should be protected and upheld by government, not undermined by it [but] we are confident that, given today's result, the referendum proposal will be defeated." Mayman and Andrew say they expect the third reading to pass by a similar majority to yesterday's second reading vote, even without the referendum amendments succeeding.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 3rd December 2004 - 12:00pm

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