Who’s representing National Party voters?

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2004 09:02 AM
Who’s representing National Party voters?
The Campaign for Civil Unions is tonight questioning who will represent the 63% of National Party supporters who also support registration of same-sex partnerships.
Don Brash’s announcement tonight that he will oppose the Civil Union Bill unless it is put to referendum indicates that he is not interested in representing the opinions of National Party voters on the issue.
“The two polls which break down support for Civil Union by party affiliation indicated that between one half and two thirds of National supporters back Civil Unions. Yet only a few National MPs are prepared to vote in support of the legislation,” said Cameron Law, Campaign for Civil Unions coordinator.
“This is an extraordinary flip flop from Don Brash, and it is a mistake in light of the broad public support for civil unions. Dr Brash seems to think that the submissions to the Select Committee, which research shows were largely organised by a radical and extremist minority, represent the public view.
“They do not – and if he had read the submissions, he would understand why not. Comments such as these: ‘In the bible…it mentions that God have the homosexuals over to a debased mind, to do things which are not fitting, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, having evil-minds, to be proud, violent, boasters, haters of God, disobedient, unforgiving, unloving, back biters, & whisperers, it also mentions that they are worthy of death,’ (CU748) or ‘…the logical conclusion of this legislation will be to encourage extensions to the bill to be sought to allow for the recognition of people already practising Bigamy, Polygamy, Paedophilia, Bestiality and Necrophilia.’ (CU2973) emphatically do not represent the views of mainstream New Zealanders.
“Don Brash’s call for a referendum on civil unions is frankly bizarre. None of the other 20 countries with civil unions have used referenda to establish them, and New Zealand has no history of using referenda for making conscience decisions. Dr Brash is trying to avoid responsibility for making a decision in this matter, and that is wrong.
“The New Zealand public elects politicians to represent their views and make decisions – not hide from them,” Cameron Law said.
“I urge Dr Brash to reconsider his decision, and to vote in line with his conscience on this issue,” said Cameron Law.

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