Wellington Scoop

PHOTO: Youth reps from all political parties combine to support marriage equality


Joint Press Release
In an unprecedented joint initiative at Parliament in Wellington today, youth representatives from all eight political parties came together at a joint press conference to show their support for marriage equality.

Young National Vice President, Shaun Wallis said the youth branch were delighted the majority of National MPs voted in favour of marriage equality at its first reading.

“I hope they will continue to do at the second reading this week,” Shaun Wallis said.

“Our members overwhelmingly support marriage equality as we believe in freedom and equal opportunity for all Kiwis.”

Young Labour spokesperson, Sam Thompson said that marriage equality was the number one policy priority for the Party’s youth wing.

“Equality under the law for all New Zealanders is a priority for Young Labour. It’s about everyone getting a fair go in the eyes of the State.

“We will continue to advocate for the right of loving couples to marry.

Young Greens spokesperson, Izzy Lomax, said that the Young Greens were delighted that all 14 Green MPs voted in favour of marriage equality at the first reading.

“We believe in a society free from discrimination, and look forward to an end to all discrimination against rainbow communities, starting with allowing loving same sex couples to marry,” Izzy Lomax said.

New Zealand First Youth leader Curwen Rolinson says the youth wing is united in supporting a referendum on this issue.

“While there is a large and vocal proportion of New Zealand First Youth who would vote in favour, it is by no means unanimous. We feel that the most important thing is progressive changes in legislation to come with the direct backing and support of the people – not filtered through layers of temporarily empowered politicians and political parties.

“A referendum is the fairest, most inclusive and democratic method of achieving this. It is our hope that MPs of other parties will realise this and join our call for a referendum,” Curwen Rolinson said.

Maori Party kaikorero rangatahi Teaonui Mckenzie said that he is proud that all three Maori Party MPs support the right of same sex couples to marry and form a whanau.

“This generation will not tolerate any form of discrimination, whether by race, gender or sexual orientation,” she said.

MANA Rangatahi spokesperson Ian Anderson says, MANA are fully behind the Bill and will work to reduce societal inequality wherever possible. In this case, that’s achieved by bringing New Zealand law into line, to provide the opportunity for same-sex couples to marry.

Act on Campus President Taylor Warwood said Act on Campus have been long-time supporters of marriage equality, and were delighted that ACT MP John Banks voted for Louisa Wall’s bill at its first reading.

“We believe its passage will be entirely consistent with ACT policy of one law for all,” Taylor Warwood said.

United Future spokesman Damian Light said allowing couples who love each other to marry is just common sense and we’re proud that Hon Peter Dunne, our Party Leader, has been a vocal supporter of this bill.

“Our support of this bill is consistent with our liberal belief in equality for all,” Damian Light said.

“This show of support for marriage equality by every party’s youth wing sends a powerful message. Marriage equality is no longer a question of if, but of when. We can’t wait for Parliament to vote in favour of the Bill,” said Campaign for Marriage Equality Spokesperson Conrad Reyners.

The eight youth reps, representing youth members of parties comprising 120 of the 121 MPs in Parliament believe their combined show of support reflects the over-whelming support for marriage equality amongst younger New Zealanders (76% in favour in Colmar Brunton May 2012 poll).