MP drafting gay marriage bill

Dominion Post 14 May 2012
Gay marriage is an issue for “a small group of New Zealanders” and the Government has not made it a priority because of the tough economic times, Prime Minister John Key says. The issue has flared since US President Barack Obama backed gay marriage last week. Both Key and Labour leader David Shearer have indicated they would not stand in the way of moves to allow gay marriage in New Zealand. Key today indicated he would be “more than happy” to vote for the first reading of a bill allowing gay marriage. However, no such bill has yet been entered in to the member’s ballot. Once in the ballot, it would have to be drawn before it could be debated. Key today indicated the Government had no intention of pushing the idea. “It’s not my number one issue, that’s absolutely for sure,” he said. The previous Labour-led Government had backed “a lot” of conscience issues but his Government had not, which was a reflection of the “difficult economic times,” Key said. “We need to use our precious time in Parliament really to resolve those issues. We accept this is an issue for a small group of New Zealanders.”