INDEPENDENT NEWS

Civil Unions 2nd Reading Vote Welcomed

Published: Fri 3 Dec 2004 10:31 AM
2nd Reading Vote Welcomed
The Campaign for Civil Unions has welcomed the results of today’s Second Reading vote on the Civil Union Bill, which has progressed the legislation past a critical point. The Campaign anticipates the legislation will be in law by the end of next week.
“The Campaign is very pleased with the result, which had 65 MPs voting in favour of the Bill, 55 against,” said Regan Andrew, spokesperson for the Campaign for Civil Unions.
“By passing the Civil Union Bill today with a 10 vote margin, Parliament has reaffirmed its view that the status quo, where some people cannot access relationship recognition, is not acceptable. MPs have voted in line with public opinion to ensure that same-sex and de facto couples are able to have their relationships recognised if they choose to do so.
“The next step is the committee stage of the Bill, which we expect to occur next week,” said Christians for Civil Unions spokesperson Rev Dr Margaret Mayman.
“A number of parties have announced plans to amend the Bill in committee to require a referendum before it can come into effect. We absolutely oppose such proposals,” Margaret Mayman said.
“Human rights should not be the subject of political games. Holding a referendum on whether there should be relationship recognition accessible to same-sex couples is simply not appropriate. Minority rights should be protected and upheld by government, not undermined by it.
“Some couples in our community have been waiting 20 years or more to have their relationships recognised in law, and do not want to wait any longer.
“We are confident that, given today’s result, the referendum proposal will be defeated. We also expect that the third reading will pass by a similar majority to today’s second reading vote, even without the referendum amendments succeeding.
“The Campaign calls on those opposed to this legislation to recognise it for what it is: a modest proposal to support committed, loving couples who want to build stronger families, and uphold human rights in New Zealand” Regan Andrew and Margaret Mayman concluded.
ENDS

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