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Anti-gay Marriage Bill thrown out

Thu 8 Dec 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

The Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill has been thrown out of Parliament after its first reading by a vote of 73-47. The Bill, sponsored by United Future MP Gordon Copeland, proposed to change the Marriage Act to specify that marriage could only be between a man and a woman, and to amend the Bill of Rights so that any measures which are seen to promote "traditional" forms of marriage are not seen as discriminatory. Copeland asked that parliament prevent same-sex marriage being brought into law in New Zealand, citing overseas examples where the law has been changed to include homosexual relationships in marriage. A report released Tuesday night by Attorney-General Michael Cullen, said Copeland's bill could be considered discriminatory under the Bill of Rights Act. Many MP's expressed their opinions on the Bill prior to yesterday's vote. While National Party leader Don Brash said he would vote for the homophobic legislation, MP Mark Burton announced in parliament that voting for the Bill would be "a complete waste of time." Nat MP Katherine Rich agreed it would add nothing to the Marriage Act, and was even more vocal about the bill's motivations. "This bill is a cheap political stunt," she said. "It will be used as a platform for every banjo-playing redneck homophobe who wants to stand up and make comments about the way other people lead their lives."    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Thursday, 8th December 2005 - 12:00pm

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