The Royal Succession Bill has been sent to select committee for consideration.
The bill ensures Royal succession is not dependent on a person’s sex, and so allows an older daughter to precede a younger son in the line of succession.
It also allows the British king or queen to marry a Roman Catholic and says not every descendant of King George II needs the permission of their sovereign to marry.
As the bill says “There are likely hundreds of descendants of King George II who were, or are, unaware of the marriage consent requirements of the Royal Marriages Act 1772 and whose marriages are technically invalid.’’
Britain needs the 16 Commonwealth countries to pass the law in order for the new rules to come into force.
Justice Minister Judith Collins said the bill was necessary in order to modernise the laws of succession
Andrew Little said the Bill was dealing with an anachronism and people would wonder why the House was sitting under Urgency to consider the issue of gender neutrality in the British succession to the throne.
Labour would support the bill because it would not to offend the monarch of Britain, but there were other more pressing issues than dealing with this issue and the ancient prejudice against Catholics in another country.
Little said if anything the Bill should raise debate on New Zealand’s links to the monarchy.
The bill was referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee by 104 with the Greens and Mana (15 votes) abstaining.
Earlier the Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill completed its second reading on voice vote.
MPs began the first reading of the Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill.
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