Brownlee, MP for the urban Christchurch electorate of Ilam, voted against Louisa Wall's private member's bill which seeks to provide equal legal access to marriage for glbti people and which would, as side-effects, allow married gay couples to adopt and transgender people to marry regardless of their or their partner's sex.
At the time of the bill's first reading Brownlee's boss, Prime Minister John Key, is understood to have made it clear he expected his caucus to be consistent in their voting throughout the bill's progress. He later publicly confirmed his stance.
Other Government MPs to change their mind for the bill's second reading were Jonathan Coleman (Northcote), Murray McCully (East Coast Bays) and Ian McKelvie (Rangitikei). They were joined in their opposition to the bill by forty fellow National MPs, three Labour MPs, block-voting NZ First MPs and ex-NZ First now independent MP Brendan Horan.
Amongst the more predictable votes against equality for glbti people were Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, the select committee member who eventually apologised for offending two gay men submitting in favour of the bill and who was caught out lying about the bill to Tongan church members. Mangere MP Su'a William Sio, whose south Auckland electorate is stongly Polynesian and who predicted a major political backlash against any of his fellow Labour MPs who support the bill, also voted against the second reading.
Openly gay senior government MP Chris Finlayson, a close associate of anti-gay rights deputy PM Bill English, both of whom are committed Catholics, also voted against equality for his fellow gays. Parliament's only known closeted gay MP once again voted against marriage equality.
Meanwhile, Labour list MP Raymond Huo who abstained from voting on the bill on its first reading changed to supporting it last night.
Of the 77 MPs who voted for the bill 26 were National, 31 Labour, 14 Greens, 3 Maori Party and one each for United Future, Mana and ACT's John Banks.
Of the 44 MPs who voted against the bill 33 were National, 3 were Labour, 7 NZ First, plus the now independent Horan.
The full list of MPs in the house last night and how they voted on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is:
National: Amy Adams, Chris Auchinvole, Maggie Barry, Paula Bennett, Jackie Blue, Cam Calder, David Carter, Judith Collins, Jacqui Dean, Craig Foss, Aaron Gilmore, Paul Goldsmith, Jo Goodhew, Tim Groser, Tau Henare, Paul Hutchison, Nikki Kaye, Steven Joyce, John Key, Hekia Parata, Jami-Lee Ross, Scott Simpson, Chris Tremain, Nicky Wagner, Kate Wilkinson, Maurice Williamson. Labour: Jacinda Ardern, Carol Beaumont, David Clark, Clayton Cosgrove, David Cunliffe, Clare Curran, Lianne Dalziel, Ruth Dyson, Kris Faafoi, Darien Fenton, Phil Goff, Chris Hipkins, Parekura Horomia, Raymond Huo, Shane Jones, Annette King, Iain Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Moana Mackey, Nanaia Mahuta, Trevor Mallard, Sue Moroney, David Parker, Rajen Prasad, Grant Robertson, David Shearer, Maryan Street, Rino Tirikatene, Phil Twyford, Louisa Wall, Megan Woods. Greens: Steffan Browning, David Clendon, Catherine Delahunty, Julie-Anne Genter, Kennedy Graham, Kevin Hague, Gareth Hughes, Jan Logie, Mojo Mathers, Russel Norman, Denise Roche, Metiria Turei, Eugenie Sage, Holly Walker. Maori Party: Pita Sharples, Te Ururoa Flavell, Tariana Turia. United Future: Peter Dunne. ACT: John Banks. Mana: Hone Harawira
National: Shane Ardern, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, David Bennett, Chester Borrows, Simon Bridges, Gerry Brownlee, Jonathan Coleman, Bill English, Chris Finlayson, Nathan Guy, John Hayes, Phil Heatley, Colin King, Melissa Lee, Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Todd McClay, Murray McCully, Ian McKelvie, Mark Mitchell, Alfred Ngaro, Simon O'Connor, Eric Roy, Tony Ryall, Mike Sabin, Katrina Shanks, Nick Smith, Lindsay Tisch, Anne Tolley, Louise Upston, Michael Woodhouse, Jian Yang, Jonathan Young. Labour: Damien O'Connor, Ross Robertson, Su'a William Sio. NZ First: Asenati Lole-Taylor, Tracey Martin, Winston Peters, Richard Prosser, Barbara Stewart, Andrew Williams, Denis O'Rourke. Independent: Brendan Horan