Major party leaders all support same sex marriage

Claire Trevett at the NZ Herald reports:

Prime Minister has followed US President Barack Obama and said he is not opposed to gay marriage – an apparent change in his stance. …

But yesterday, in a response to the AP news service after President Obama said gays should be allowed to wed, Mr Key said he was “not personally opposed to gay marriage” and it was possible Parliament would consider a member’s bill at some stage. …

Labour Party leader said he fully supported marriage equality in principle but would like to see the detail of any legislation before giving it formal support. …

Maori Party co-leader said she would support same-sex marriage, as individuals and whanau had the right to choose for themselves whether to marry. …

Greens co-leader said she was pleased President Obama had taken a stand on what was a very difficult moral issue in America. …

She said the Green Party supported same-sex marriage in New Zealand and had argued for it when the Civil Union Bill was being passed.

I have to say I’m very proud to be a member of the National Party today, and also proud to be a New Zealander.

Leaders of four of the five largest parties in Parliament have all said they are not opposed to gay marriage. This is a good reflection on New Zealand. It also reflects our leaders being in touch with younger New Zealanders. On issues such as gay marriage, there is overwhelming support amongst younger people. Today we consider it incredible that 30 years ago people could be jailed for consensual sex among adults of the same sex. Likewise in 30 years time people will find it strange that there was once a time when a same sex couple couldn’t get married.

The National Party is a mixture of liberalism and conservatism, and overall is more conservative than liberal. Hence it is no small thing to have its leader, and the country’s prime minister, say he is not opposed to gay marriage.

Labour MP Louisa Wall, in a guest post at Whale Oil, says she is working on a bill to amend the Marriage Act. Once submitted to the ballot, it might not be drawn for years, but on the other hand it might get drawn the first time there is a ballot. So anyone’s guess when Parliament might consider this issue.

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