Civil Union Bill Passes First Hurdle
The Civil Union Bill will be referred for Select Committee scrutiny after passing its first reading by a majority of six votes. 66 members voted for the Civil Union Bill's introduction whilst 50 members opposed the Bill. There were no abstentions.
Five members of the Government voted against the bill and three members of National voted for sending it to Select Committee for consideration.
Earlier in the week United Future Leader Peter Dunne explained his members were voting as their conscience dictated, and as it turned out their conscience dictated they unanimously opposed the Bill.
Other parties with a strong preponderance of votes against the Bill were New Zealand First whose Deputy Leader, Peter Brown raised the ire of various spectators in the gallery with his speech on the topic. Only Brian Donnelly voted in favour of the bill.
The Green Party voted as a party to support the introduction of the legislation. The Progressive Party also unamimously supported the Civil Union Bill.
Many speakers against the Bill's introduction referred to their own relationships, and many in New Zealand First expressed consternation at alternative lifestyles.
Those in favour of the bill spoke often about human and civil rights.