28 Mar 2013

Same sex marriage bill passes committee stages

6:26 am on 28 March 2013

Legislation paving the way for same sex couples to get married is a step closer to law.

The Marriage Amendment Bill passed through its committee stages on Wednesday with a comfortable majority and now requires just one final vote by MPs.

Labour MP Ruth Dyson chaired the committee that considered the bill and said there were tensions during the hearings but she thinks the committee got it right.

Her Labour colleague Su'a William Sio put up amendments that would have clarified further whether marriage celebrants would have to undertake same sex marriage ceremonies.

A conscience vote specifically on that amendment lost by 88 votes to 22.

The bill passed through its committee stages by 77 votes to 43 and will come back before the House for its third and final reading on an upcoming members' day.