It will be interesting to see whom the parties put up to speak on the final reading, to see if it varies from second reading. Some parties may split their spots as happend last time.
Debate due to start in a few minutes.
And we are off at 3.18 p.m. The Minister David Benson-Ppoe (L) kicks off. Civil Unions take away nothing from people, and gives some people a new choice.
No 2 Bill English (N) says this is a case of horse before cart where civil unions are being created without knowing what rights they will get from the companion bill. Legislating a ceremony and certificate only – is a legal mess. Plus does not believe stats should be absolutely neutral on every relationship. Companion bill may force defactos into relationship rights they do not want.
No 3 Tim Barnett (L). Thanked Michael Wallmannsberger and CUB support team. Taken swipes at Turia, Franks, Worth. Quotes from letter about gay couple together for 50 years. For 45 years no celebration of relationship and for 40 years worried about being arrested so had second bed in house as defence.
No 4/1 Winston Peters (NZF) talking about how fundamental (sic) homosexuals are against this bill as to deliver what Tim Barnett claims they should just amend the marriage act. Says it is duplicity and not give equality. Now on about asset sales!!! Peters concludes saying that denying a referendum is denying homosexuals chance to have their relationships supported by the community and people should vote against Labour for denying them a vote.
No 4/2 Dail Jones (NZF) says marriage is only between a man and a woman for purpose of having children. This bill is present to the coterie of homosexuals and lesbians who surround Helen Clark. Would vote in line with referendum result.
No 5 Stephen Franks (A) this is a deliberate piece of wedge politics. Is an empty bill with a never defined concept. Would have got 75% support for removal of disabilities against a minority. I wanted to support the bill, but this has no substance. Worried about impact on free speech for those who argue homosexuality is wrong. He disagrees with them but will fight for them.
No 6 Nandor Tancozs (G) says people are against because they see it as gay marriage, or will weaken marriage or it is not needed. Is not gay marriage