We are all celebrating today at Parliament after an amazing night in which love was the winner.
A huge number of people came to watch the marriage equality debate and vote. The queue stretched around the building and people were bubbling with excitement to see such happy history being made.
The speeches made by the MPs were almost all supportive of the bill.
Our MPs Kevin Hague and Mojo Mathers both spoke on the bill. Kevin talked about his experience of getting together with his partner Ian 28 years ago when being gay was illegal, and how necessary this bill is to people in the LGBTI community. He talked about what marriage really is about and finished by issuing a challenge to MPs as to which side of history they want to be standing on.
Mojo talked about how important this bill was to her family, especially the fact that both of her daughters will have the same rights to marry who they love, regardless of their sexuality. She talked about all of the other parents of young gay and lesbian people who she had heard from, who shared her hopes for their kids to feel embraced by society for who they are.
National MP Maurice Williamson was a bit of a star speaker on the night, hypothesising about what the “gay onslaught” so feared by this bill’s opponents would look like; specifically whether it would “come down the Pakuranga Highway as a series of troops”. On the other hand Chester Burrows won the tease of the night award. He got a huge response when he said he had changed his view on the bill and everyone in the House thought he was going to vote in support. But a minute later said he would vote against the bill anyway.
You can listen to all the speeches here.
Last night was momentous moment in our political history. We were so privileged to be a part of passing this bill and in that passing sending a strong message from Parliament about equality and the right to live free from discrimination.