Well I am pleased the Civil Unions Bill got through the first reading 66 – 50. Apart from the fact I support the Bill, I think it is a pity if any conscience issue doesn’t get at least select committee consideration. A number of MPs voted for it on that basis, so final outcome very unclear.
The NZ Herald has a good article with who voted what way. They don’t do a summary by party though, so here it is:
Labour 42 to 6 (3 absent)
National 5 to 22
NZ First 2 to 11
ACT 6 to 2
Green 9 to 0
United Future 0 to 8
Progressive 2 to 0
Independent 1 to 0
Total 66 to 50 (3 absent)
Labour had eight MPs not vote for the Bill (would have failed without centre right votes). Only surprise for me was Tamihere voting against.
Rather disappointed only five Nats in favour – was hoping for 10 or so. Absoutely great Don Brash voted for it. He supported it of course because he believes it will be better than the status quo, but from my view it is politically useful that now harder to demonise him as an “uncaring racist conserative blah blah blah” when he has a sensible liberal voting record. Also great that Clem voted for it – I often forget he is not just a Tamaki conservative. Katherine, Pansy and Lockwood – well done also.
My two favourite NZ First MPs voted for it – Ron and Brian. The first time NZ First has split on a conscience issue I think. They do also get to have the MP who made the biggest pillock of himself – Bill Gudgeon who called the bill “an abomination to all mankind” and “despicable”. As part of mankind, my message to Mr Gudgeon is to shut the fuck up, and stop speaking on my behalf.
Also good to see ACT reflect their branding as a liberal party with 75% voting for including Rodney, Richard and to my huge surprise Stephen Franks. Good one Stephen. God knows how Deborah Coddington was ever in the Libertarianz as she was initially against prostitution law reform and also against this.
Every party leader except Peters and Dunne voted in favour. How often would one have that happen.
Quite funny how strongly I feel on this issue, despite being unaffected myself (I am quite traditional and would like a church wedding). Probably the fact I know so many people in long term committed same sex relationships, and that this bill means so much to them and their sense of worth as a couple.
It will be interesting to see how the Relationships Omnibus Bill goes next week. Should have well over 70 in favour as even some United Future MPs may be voting for it.