Gus Kenworthy
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Lawmaker Apologizes for Vote Against Gay Marriage After Son Comes Out

National MP Nick Smith

A New Zealand politician apologized in Parliament on Thursday for voting against marriage equality in 2013.

Nick Smith, 57, gave his final speech before retiring, reflecting on his 30 years in politics. A member of the center-right National Party, he was New Zealand’s longest-serving MP, according to 1 NEWS.

Smith said he had promised his son, who is gay, that he’d speak about the vote in his speech. He said that voting against marriage equality was “an issue I got wrong.”

"The error is all the more personal with my 20-year-old son being gay,” Smith said. "I want to put on record today my apology to New Zealand's LGBT+ community."

Smith told 1 NEWS that his son, Logan, came out three years ago.

“Already at that time, I felt my views were wrong. I gave him a commitment that before I retired from Parliament I would give that apology publicly,” he said.

"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."

Smith’s son told the outlet, “I knew he had changed his views already and I knew he has been a supportive father all along the way.”

“I'm really proud of him. I think it's just important to demonstrate people can learn and their views can change," he added.

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