The Labour MP sponsoring a member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage says some religious groups are afraid to debate the issue.
Louisa Wall appeared in front of Parliament's Government administration committee on Wednesday to dispel some arguments against her bill, which seeks to recognise marriage as between two people, regardless of their sex.
Ms Wall told MPs that the bill does not affect a religious group's definition of marriage.
She said some leaders cannot get past the fact that homosexual New Zealanders are normal people and deserve the same rights as everybody else.
Ms Wall hopes that the religious community takes part in the select committee process of the bill.