On the positive side, it's good that John Key encouraged his MPs to vote in a way that they thought was right (that was my prayer for him and all MPs yesterday).
Key said he had encouraged his MPs to do what they believed was right. "I'm not looking at who's voting one way or another, I'm not judging them on it."
It's disappointing, however, that John Key's framing this as "marriage equality", a propaganda term that is somewhat meaningless and false. I don't have a direct quote, as I heard him say it on a NewsTalkZB news bulletin.
I'm also not impressed with his talk of a "tougher and nastier" debate. By saying that, he's implying that opponents to the redefinition of marriage are bigots, without actually coming out and saying it directly. That angle has certainly been pushed by publishing select quotes from correspondence to MPs on the bill.
I think we all need to think of the positive aspects of this bill passing it's first reading, namely, now is the time to really articulate to the country what marriage really is and why it's important. With so many children now being born out of wedlock, and a great proportion of those growing up without fathers, and young women thinking that men are only sperm donors and the State will support their families, we need NZ to really value marriage between men and women. Our future depends on it.
Related link: Gay marriage debate to get 'tougher and nastier'