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New Zealand’s new PM does u-turn on marriage equality

December 12, 2016
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The new Prime Minister of New Zealand says he’s changed his mind on same-sex marriage legislation.

Bill English voted against the Civil Unions Bill in 2004, and voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill in 2013.

However the next PM says he’s changed his mind on the topic since then – and now backs the equality legislation.

“I’d probably vote differently now on the gay marriage issue, I don’t think that gay marriage is a threat to anyone else’s marriage,” he said.

“Just seeing the impact it’s had for couples and the fact that it doesn’t actually erode marriage. In some ways it’s an affirmation of the concept.”

Mr English is “an active Catholic” who says his faith effects the decisions he takes and his view on the world – especially on social issues.

“It’s been an influence in forming my judgement forming my conscience. It’s no guarantee of virtue or perfection, that’s for sure,” he said.

“It doesn’t define me but it’s an important influence.”

The new NZ Prime Minister takes office today, following on from his predecessor, John Key, who backed marriage equality after it was brought by an opposition Labour MP.

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