It's the modern test of morality for political elites to be on the right side of the gay marriage debate. If you are on the wrong side, you will be vilified. What politician wants that, especially if they have no strong moral backbone?
Listening to NewsTalkZB this morning, I noticed that both politicians that Mike Hosking had on with him were almost offended at the idea that such a massive change to a primary social institution should go to referendum. Their consciences were seen to be enough, even though Steven Joyce wasn't really ready at this point to tell any one as to which way his conscience was swinging.
Isn't it interesting how just a few months ago, when Judith Collins was asked by Rainbow Wellington about same-sex marriage, her reply to them was:
The Government has no plans to introduce same-sex marriage in the current Parliamentary term. As you are aware, there is considerable diversity of opinion on same-sex marriage.
And now, here we are, with the vast majority of National MPs undecided on which way they will go, with the PM stating that he will be voting to change marriage from Husband and Wife to Partner and Partner. Not in those explicit terms of course, but I think we need to get more explicit about what this change will actually mean.
Related link : How MPs plan to vote on gay marriage