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Don Brash backs public mandate on civil unions

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

30 November 2004

Don Brash backs public mandate on civil unions

National Party Leader Don Brash says he supports a public mandate by way of referendum on moral issues as important as the Civil Union Bill, which is likely to be rammed through Parliament under urgency this week.

"In principle, I see merit in having a legal framework within which same sex couples can arrange their lives. It was for this reason that I voted in favour of the Civil Union Bill at the first reading.

"But it is very clear from the heavy preponderance of submissions opposed to this Bill when it went to select committee that this country is deeply divided on this issue.

"People see it as a direct attack on the institution of marriage, and as part of a more general attack by this Government on the institutions of civil society.

"For this reason, I have reached the view that we should submit this issue to a referendum. I personally would vote in favour of allowing same sex couples to form a legally binding relationship in that referendum.

"However, I will not be voting to support the Labour Government's rushed attempt to ram the Civil Union Bill through Parliament in the face of serious misgivings by many hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders, and despite nobody yet knowing the final shape of the companion Bill, the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill," says Dr Brash.

ENDS


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