A survey of New Zealand MPs by the NZ Herald has confirmed there are enough votes for a bill to legalize same-sex marriage to get a successful first reading after which it will be considered by a select committee.
61 MPs – the exact minimum required for the vote to be successful – were prepared to put their support on the record, while several more indicated they might vote for the bill but were yet to make up their minds.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key will support the bill, along with 15 other National Party MPs – including three of the Government’s ministers.
The bill is being supported by MPs from across the political spectrum, with only the New Zealand First anti-immigration party set to vote unanimously against the bill.
The youth wings of five New Zealand political parties have issued a joint statement in support of the bill, calling on their MPs to vote for the bill which has been put forward by the Labour Party’s Louisa Wall.
The statement was issued by the Young Nationals, Young Labour, the Young Greens, the youth wing of the ACT Party and the youth wing of the Mana party – which represents indigenous New Zealanders.
The ACT youth wing called on the party’s only MP and leader, John Banks, to vote for the bill or risk losing their support.
The first reading of the bill is expected to occur on Wednesday and Wellington’s LGBT community will be holding a rally to celebrate the milestone in the city’s Civic Square from midday.