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MP on the fence about gay marriage hot potato

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 29/08/2012
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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has said she will support the same-sex marriage bill.

Mrs Dean said she would support the bill to allow it to get to the select committee stage.

"I have listened to constituents both for and against the bill. There have been a number of differing points of view but not one told me how to vote and I appreciated that. I have listened to what they have had to say and have decided," Mrs Dean said.

A bill aiming to legalise same-sex marriage could be debated in Parliament today. Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill aims to make it legal for same-sex couples to marry.

Its first reading is on the order paper for today’s members’ day.

Prime Minister John Key and Labour Party leader David Shearer have indicated they would support the bill.

Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew said she would continue to read correspondence about the Bill before deciding on her vote.

It is expected that MPs for the Labour and National parties will be allowed to make a conscience vote on the issue.

The Green Party has indicated all its MPs would support it, while NZ First leader Winston Peters has indicated all its MPs could vote against it for its first reading.

Mr Peters has asked for a binding public referendum.

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- The Timaru Herald

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