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Baldock challenges PM to reveal marriage position

Baldock challenges PM to reveal position on marriage

United Future’s Larry Baldock today tackled Prime Minister Helen Clark, albeit through Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen speaking on her behalf, in Parliament on where her Government stood on maintaining marriage as between a man and a woman.

He asked if she stood by her comments last year in the Gay Express newspaper that ‘I think you need to see how the civil union settles in … see how it goes, see how the times are moving and keep in mind international developments. We tend to be as progressive as any country on these issues’.

“As most proponents of the civil union legislation made it clear that they did not want to affect the distinction and sanctity of marriage, I would have thought that they would have welcomed my Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill.

“Clearly that wasn’t so, as Labour was going to oppose it, and I think the public deserve an explanation for that stance.

“And given that leadership comes from the top, I think it is high time that Miss Clark made a definitive statement on whether or not she will protect marriage as it has always been understood in New Zealand, as involving a man and a woman,” he said.

“Dr Cullen relayed her avoidance of this issue again today.”

Mr Baldock pulled his Bill when ACT reneged on an agreement and returned Muriel Newman’s smoking Bill to the order paper, effectively meaning that it would not be dealt with today, and therefore in this parliamentary term.

“And interestingly enough, while saying they supported the Bill, no ACT member would put it in writing,” he said

He said he was happy for the Bill to come before the next Parliament.

The results of a Digi Poll completed this week confirmed that the majority of New Zealanders supported the Bill’s aims.

“My Bill was necessary to ensure that Parliament and not the courts, defined marriage in New Zealand, as the Ministry of Justice’s advice was that the Quilter case could be revisited in light of overseas trends,” he said.


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