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Marriage Bill Completes Committee Stage 77 to 43

The legalisation of same sex marriage moved one step closer to becoming law this evening

A the end of the committee stage the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was reported by 77 to 43.

The bill completed its second reading by 77 to 44 and its first reading by 80 to 40.

Amendments seeking a referendum on the issue were ruled out of order as the House had already voted against the option at the second reading stage.

Various amendments seeking to strengthen protections for celebrants and others not to have to perform same sex marriage ceremonies against their will were defeated by 22 to 88 and 36 to 80.

During the debate Kevin Hague said much opposition to the bill was built on a campaign of fear whipped up by people make false assertions about the bill

Hague said MPs would debate amendments tonight that originated from that campaign.

Sua William Sio said he would be putting up an amendment to ensure that religious ministers who did not agree with same sex marriages would not have to undertake them.

The bill seemed set to pass and MPs should accept his amendments to provide a balance, he said.

Winston Peters said the select committee had failed to address many of the concerns of submissioners.

He said the issue should be put to a referendum and he would seek to amend the bill towards that end.

Peters predicted that many MPs would lose their seats over the issue at the next election

Parliament rose after completing the voting and reporting progress.

**
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