New Zealand: Equal marriage bill ‘likely to pass first reading’
A member’s bill selected for a vote in the New Zealand parliament reportedly has enough support from MPs to pass its first reading.
Radio New Zealand conducted a straw poll and found 58 said they would vote in favour of the legislation.
Only seven pledged to oppose it.
61 votes would give the bill a majority in the house, and Radio New Zealand said enough MPs quizzed where “leaning towards” marriage equality to pass the legislation.
Louisa Ward, the Labour MP who filed the bill that was selected from a ballot to “One of the principles of the Labour Party is we recognize the rights of all people regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“But, I understand the conscience vote and people express that from a very personal perspective and I will respect the right of my colleagues who hold particular religious views.”
Prime Minister John Key said he was “definitely” going to vote for the legislation in its first reading. Marriage rights for gay couples was not part of the government’s legislative programme.
Controlling 59 of the 120 seats at the House of Representatives, Mr Key’s centre-right National Party is expected to have the most diverse range of voting intentions.
Ms Wall’s bill was pulled out of a parliamentary ballot in July and should be voted on this year.