West Coast-Tasman Labour MP Damien O’Connor has met a group of people in his electorate trying to talk him in to backing the marriage equality bill.
Mr O’Connor, a stated opponent of the same-sex marriage bill, was wined and dined at a meeting in Greymouth last night by supporters of the same-sex marriage bill.
Today, he said while the conversation had been “good and worthwhile” he would not be changing his mind or vote.
He said he did not believe the discrimination and injustice was so great that it warranted a change in the legislation.
“In short, I have taken into account all of the facts and I believe that there are far more injustices that need to be addressed. For example, people who are disabled through accidents receive full support, while those disabled from birth do not. These injustices are the issues that need to be addressed.”
He thinks there are other things that are more important. Fair enough.
But the marriage equality bill will put to the vote in parliament anyway, so whether he thinks it’s important or not he gets to vote on it.
Surely he can’t vote against it, because he has more important things to do.
Is he going to not turn up to the vote because he has more important things to do? He presumably still has to arrange with his party whip what to do about his vote.
Is he going to abstain?
Or is he avoiding explaining his stance? I thought he was supposed to be a straight talker. Maybe only when it suits.