Lavender Armageddon Begins
God is reportedly “gutted” after a bill aiming to legalise gay marriage was pulled from the Members’ ballot on Thursday. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was submitted into the ballot by Labour MP Louisa Wall. The first reading of the bill is expected to be held in around six weeks’ time.
At this stage, the bill seems likely to pass. Major parties will almost certainly allow their MPs to vote with their consciences, which ensures the support of National’s liberal wing as well as the Greens and the majority of Labour’s MPs. The Campaign for Marriage Equality recently surveyed MPs as to how they would vote at the bill’s first reading. Of the 72 who replied, only 16 would vote “no”. The naysayers include Hone Harawira, Peter Dunne, Labour MPs Damien O’Connor and Ross Robertson, and several National and NZ First MPs.
Four other bills were also drawn from the 62 in the ballot, including Labour MP for Dunedin North David Clark’s Minimum Wage Amendment Bill, which proposes lifting the minimum wage to $15 per hour from its current rate of $13.50. The bill is likely to be shot down by the Government at first reading.
Another bill drawn from the ballot was Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove’s State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities (Exercise in Utter Futility) Bill. If passed, the bill would make asset sales require either a 75 percent majority in Parliament or a referendum. Given that it goes against one of the Government’s major policy platforms as well as fundamentally undermining the principle of Parliamentary Supremacy, which provides that Parliament should not entrench legislation in order to bind future Parliaments, the bill has about as much hope of passing as a linguistics student with Wernicke’s aphasia.