Peters calls for gay marriage referendum 31 July 2012
NZ First leader Winston Peters has called for a referendum on gay marriage, but declined to say how he would vote on one. Peters this afternoon said the eight New Zealand First MPs had agreed not to support the bill for “marriage equality” being promoted by Labour MP Louisa Wall. “We will not be voting for this bill, we will argue for a referendum and we believe there should be enough members of parliament who have got confidence in the public of this country to trust the public to decide this issue after reasonable debate,” Peters said. However, he indicated he would make no contribution to any debate over gay marriage, saying his views on the matter were “irrelevant”. The public should be left to decide on the issue “rather than have people try to twist the public debate with their personal view,” Peters said. “Look at the record of parliamentarians on important social issues – they’re all over the place,” he said

Gay marriage vote could come down to the wire
NZ Herald 31 July 2012

Labour Party MP Louisa Wall is close to securing the support to legalise same-sex marriage, a Herald poll of MPs shows. However, many MPs were refusing to commit to a decision on the marriage equality bill, and the final vote could come down to the wire. A straw poll of all 121 MPs found that fifty-four MPs have indicated they would support it at least in its early stages, or were considering supporting it. The bill, which was expected to come before Parliament in late August, needed 61 votes to pass. New Zealand First this afternoon indicated that it might abstain from the vote, because it preferred to put the issue to a public referendum. This would mean the bill would need 57 votes to pass. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said: “Serious issues like this should be decided by the public of this country and not a few temporary empowered politicians.” But he would not give a straight answer when asked to confirm whether his party would opt out of voting. “We are not voting for it. We believe it should be by way of a public referendum.”


12 comments for “Peters calls for gay marriage referendum

  1. bob
    30 July 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Good on Winston & NZ First for calling for a referendum on gay marriage. But they should definitely vote against gay marriage, not just abstain. Abstaining is only for if you are genuinely confused over the Bill, or have a conflict of interest or somesuch. Winston & NZ First clearly disagree with gay marriage, so should have the courage to vote against it.

    We need brave politicians to have the guts to front the gay lobby, who will scream their hate at anyone who does so. But if no MPs stand up, speak against gay marriage and announce they will vote against it, other weaker MPs will fold under the bullying of the gay lobby and their liberal supporters.

    P.S. Interesting to note when I have been debating the ‘logic’ used to justify gay marriage (ie consent of adults), how many liberal gay marriage supporters have said they are happy to have polygamous and incestous marriage as well (because these use the same ‘logic’ – consent of adults).

  2. 30 July 2012 at 10:38 pm

    We shouldn’t “definitely” vote either way. NZ First’s MPs were elected to represent the views of the people who elected them. With a clear majority in favour of gay marriage in most recent polling, this should nominally indicate that NZ First could certainly have a few MPs vote in favour.

    Speaking in my capacity as a Director of NZ First, I don’t feel it’s fair to state “NZ First clearly disagree with gay marriage”. We don’t. We just “clearly disagree” with putting it to a consciece vote rather than a referendum.

    We don’t need politicians who will “scream their hate” at a segment of society that’s agitating for change. We need politicos who can provide a fair and balanced representation for all Kiwis – gay, straight or otherwise – as they participate in the democratic process.


    Curwen Rolinson
    Leader, NZ First Youth

  3. AdVader
    31 July 2012 at 6:33 am

    NOT a referendum for samesex but for “we the sheeple for natural parenthood and normal familylife!” is most necessary!

  4. Rhona
    31 July 2012 at 4:03 pm

    And again, I ask, where will this blind advocacy of binding referenda lead us?

    What if we were instead debating the End of Life Choices Bill and euthanasia, and there was a proposed referendum in that context? The ill, disabled and sick would be in grave danger. No, Bob. And as for New Zealand First, they may want us to forget that all but one of their MPs voted for Peter Brown’s pro-euthanasia “Death With Dignity” Bill back in 2003, but I refuse to do so.

  5. Rhona
    31 July 2012 at 4:07 pm

    You also need to realise that there are adverse perceptions of your “Value Your Vote” guide in some quarters from last year. Mr Peters may have a solid social conservative voting record on other issues, but euthanasia is not one of them. And unfortunately, that is one of the primary pro-life concerns. Again, think of the consequences were binding citizens referenda adopted on other issues of concern to us.

  6. Bob
    31 July 2012 at 4:54 pm

    And politicians won’t put us in ‘grave danger”? Just look at their history of voting on moral issues

    and by the way, the general election is a glorified binding referendum also.

  7. Bob
    31 July 2012 at 4:55 pm

    “Adverse perceptions”?? From simply telling the truth?

  8. Rhona
    31 July 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I am talking about the possibility of euthanasia being introduced through binding referenda, as has already occurred in Oregon and Washington state.

    Adverse perceptions, because you failed to give sufficient emphasis to Peters’ opportunism when it came to the Death With Dignity Bill…

  9. Bob
    31 July 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I have great trust in people – when there is proper debate allowed, as was the case with the anti-smacking referendum. Common sense prevailed 🙂

    Re Peters voting record – we simply reported the fact. We’re not afraid of the implication – just focusing people on family issues

  10. Rhona
    31 July 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Yes, and what about when traditional values and the sanctity of human life doen’t, as occurred with the euthanasia referenda?

    The problem is, you may have simply reported the fact, but there was no editorial comment about New Zealand First’s opportunist and populist stance on euthanasia. Merely because referenda are convenient to use on some uses doesn’t mean that they are neccessarily the best solution.

    I repeat, what happens if the End of Life Choices Bill is drawn out of the ballot box at some stage in the future, and Peters calls for a referendum then?

    “Common sense” is a slippery and elastic term. What if voters were to decide it was ‘common sense’ to legalise euthanasia? They did in Oregon and Washington, and maintained its legality in Switzerland.

  11. Bob
    1 August 2012 at 12:15 am

    We apply ‘common sense’ every 3 years at general elections

    I have no problem with democracy – especially democracy which is allowed to happen on single issues as a check on political abuse

    We’ll agree to disagree on this

  12. Rhona
    1 August 2012 at 12:36 am

    I think we’ll have to. Don’t get me wrong, Bob, I do admire the other work you do, especially when it comes to prostitution, euthanasia and abortion.

    It’s just that when it comes to ‘common sense,’ I am of the generation where Germans thought it was ‘common sense’ to put the mentally ill, intellectually and physically disabled to death through cyanide capsules (Tiergarten 4). We would now regard that as a shocking indictment of Nazi Germany’s murderous attitudes toward disabled people…and don’t forget, I have an infinitely precious granddaughter with a musculoskeletal disability.

    Perhaps you might want to discuss this with Catholic friends, especially those active in the pro-life movement and involved in fighting euthanasia.

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