Relationships Bill passes first vote
Labour MPs who were missing in action over the controversial Civil Union Bill have fronted up for companion legislation that gives de facto and same-sex couples greater legal status.
Muslim MP Ashraf Choudhary faced the most flak when he failed to vote on the controversial Civil Union Bill when it passed its first vote in Parliament last week.
But Mr Choudhary and two other Labour MPs - Janet Mackey and Winnie Laban - yesterday voted in support of the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill, which is also being treated as a conscience issue.
United Future leader Peter Dunne, who is leading the campaign against the Civil Union Bill, also supported the relationships bill, which puts same-sex and de facto couples on the same legal footing as married couples.
Others who opposed the Civil Union Bill - which opponents are labelling the "gay marriage bill in drag" - also supported the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill.