Conservative New Zealand Leader Backs Marriage For Gay Couples

Prime Minister John Key said he would vote for marriage equality legislation. Joins U.K. Prime Minister Cameron as parts of the right embrace LGBT rights.


Another head of government has announced his tentative support for marriage equality, with New Zealand's prime minister, John Key of the conservative National Party, saying, "My view has been that if two gay people want to get married, then I can't see why it would undermine my marriage to [his wife] Bronagh. I just don't see it, how logic applies."

Key joins the most prominent conservative leader in the English-speaking world, British Prime Minister David Cameron, in supporting marriage between same-sex couples. Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, meanwhile, has pledged not to revisit the issue in his country, which broadened its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples in 2005.

A bill legalizing same-sex marriage has been proposed by Labour Party MP Louisa Wall, but it must go through three readings before passage. When Key was asked by Radio Live New Zealand's Marcus Lush today if he would vote for it on the first reading, he said, "I'm going to."

When asked if that would change over the course of the readings and debate, he said, "No," but then he added, "We first need to go and have the debates, I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it. I'm going to give myself a little bit of room. In principle, I'm not opposed."

Of lobbying efforts for and against the effort, Key added: "For sure, there will be huge campaigns run both ways. ... You do get a lot of intensity as you get down to the wire."

Prime Minister John Key on July 30, 2012 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Image by Martin Hunter / Getty Images


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