Retiring New Zealand MP Nick Smith has delivered an apology to his country’s LGBTIQ community for voting against same-sex marriage in 2013.
The long-serving conservative National Party MP gave his final speech last Thursday (June 10) after announcing his resignation in May.
Reflecting on three decades in politics, Smith told New Zealand’s House of Representatives that his vote against marriage equality was “an issue I got wrong”.
At the time, the legislation had enough support to pass into law anyway.
Five years after the 2013 vote, Smith’s son Logan came out to him.
“The error is all the more personal with my 20-year-old son being gay,” the MP told parliament.
“I wish to put on record today my apology to New Zealand’s LGBT+ community.”
He also paid tribute to New Zealand MPs Louisa Wall, Fran Wilde and Amy Adams “for their leadership” on the issue of same-sex marriage
Smith said they and others had “improved the lives of my son, and thousands of other New Zealanders.”
New Zealand MP says speech was promise to his gay son
Nick Smith told 1 News the part of his final parliamentary speech was to fulfil a promise he made to his gay son.
“My son Logan told me about three years ago he was gay,” Smith said.
“I gave him a commitment that before I retired from parliament I would give that apology publicly.
“When Logan first told me, we went out for a meal and he had something important to tell me.
“I was worried it was something else so when he told me he was gay we had a big laugh and a big hug.”
Logan said he was proud of his father for apologising in the New Zealand parliament.
“I knew he had changed his views already and I knew he has been a supportive father all along the way,” he told 1 News.
“I think it’s just important to demonstrate people can learn and their views can change.”
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