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New Zealand MPs undecided as gay vote nears

A day before the first vote on New Zealand legislation to legalise gay marriage, it is still unclear how much support the bill will receive, with many MPs saying they are still “undecided”.

 
 

gay marriage vote

A day before the first vote on New Zealand legislation to legalise gay marriage, it is still unclear how much support the bill will receive, with many MPs saying they are still “undecided”.

Louisa Wall’s private member’s bill has its first reading in parliament on Wednesday.

She believes the numbers are “pretty solid” for the bill to pass, with at least 61 votes needed in the 121-seat parliament.

Ms Wall says about 16 of Labour’s 34 MPs have pledged their support for the bill.

“A few of the undecideds will hopefully join our team,” she said.

Prime Minister John Key is supporting the bill, but he will be among the minority of National Party MPs doing so.

“My guess is the majority won’t back it but there’ll be a slightly larger [group] that are likely to vote for it than you might otherwise think – it might be in the order of 12, 13 people,” he said.

He is confident the bill will pass its first reading, but the votes could change as the legislation progresses.

Labour’s Clayton Cosgrove is one MP who is still undecided, telling media on Tuesday morning he is “still consulting people”.

Mr Cosgrove is among MPs who voted against civil unions legislation in 2004. However, other MPs – like Mr Key – have switched sides since then.

Anti-gay marriage lobby group Family First plan to present a 50,000-signature petition against the bill on Tuesday.

 
 

 
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