McKelvie to back same sex marriage

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 08:11 03/08/2012
Ian McKelvie
Fairfax NZ
MAIDEN DELIVERY: Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie delivers his first speech to Parliament.
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Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie will support a private member's bill legalising same-sex marriages at its first reading.

Mr McKelvie is one of a handful of National MPs to have declared some support for Labour MP Louisa Wall's bill.

"I'm certainly going to support it through the first reading," Mr McKelvie said. "I'm happy to support it to select committee."

The first-term MP said he did not have a strong view on the issue of same-sex marriage. "It's not something that directly affects me."

Mr McKelvie said whether he voted for the bill after the select committee stage would in part depend on the views of his electorate.

"I think the electorate certainly will have some impact on the end result."

He said he had received more emails on the issue in the week since the bill was drawn from the ballot than he had on any other topic since his election in November.

"Clearly there are some divided opinions," he said. He was, however, disappointed at the tone of some of the emails he had seen as some had been derogatory.

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway has already said he will support the bill at its first reading. He has set up a survey on his blog to get the views of people in his electorate.

About 10 National MPs have been reported as supporting the bill to some extent, including Prime Minister John Key, who said he would vote for it at all three readings.

The bulk of Labour's MPs have indicated support as have all Green Party and Maori Party MPs. NZ First leader Winston Leader has said his party "would not vote" for the bill.

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- Manawatu Standard

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