The daughter of a New Zealand MP who said he will not be voting for the gay marriage bill has posted a message on his Facebook page supporting gay rights.
‘I hope he does vote for gay marriage as society needs to wake up and realise these are normal people who deserve the same treatment and rights as everyone else.
‘It is who they are. They cannot change this and are people like you and I. Why should they be denied the same human right everyone else is entitled to just because they love someone the same sex?’
O’Connor replied to the post saying he was proud of his daughter ‘who thinks for herself and has a strong sense of social justice’, but added:
‘Sometimes we disagree. And so it will be throughout New Zealand. We must respect one another’s opinions but ignore the extremes from both sides of the debate.’
The MP has previously said he will not vote for the gay marriage bill and last year he was pressured to apologise when he blamed his low ranking on the Labour list on a ‘gaggle of gays’.
Ironically O’Connor was the Minister for Tourism in the last Labour government in New Zealand, when marriage equality advocates say that there will be a big boost for the country’s tourism if gay marriage is legalized before neighboring Australia.
The issue of gay marriage in New Zealand is proving divisive, not only in families like the O’Connor’s but also within the Labour Party.
MP Su’a William Sio has been admonished for saying that the bill will cost the Labour Party the next election. Sio said yesterday ‘I will not be doing any more statements about that’.