New Zealand Parliament Votes Overwhelmingly In Favor Of Marriage Equality

Politicians in New Zealand voted overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage yesterday in a preliminary vote, the first of three the measure must pass before it becomes law.

With the legislature voting 80-40 in support of marriage equality, the road to New Zealand becoming the 12th nation to recognize same-sex marriage is clearer.

According to the Washington Post, polls indicate more than 60% of kiwis are in favor of marriage equality, which would allow same-sex partners to adopt children, which they can’t under the country’s current civil-union laws.

What’s fueled this surge in equality? “If I’m really honest, I think the catalyst was around Obama’s announcement, and then obviously our prime minister came out very early in support, as did the leader of my party, David Shearer,” says Labor Party MP Louisa Wall, who is openly gay. “The timing was right.”

There are, of course, those not happy with the rising tide: “Equality doesn’t mean sameness,” says Bob McCoskrie of Family First, who says civil unions adequately protect gay and lesbian couples. “Marriage has always been about the relationship of a man and a woman because of their natural potential to have children.”



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  • rand503

    Those kiwis! They are always in rivalry to their western cousins over in Australia. I’ll bet that fact that Aussies politicians are so against marriage equality the kiwis voted this way just to stuff it in their faces. As they deserve!

    Whatever — the march to equality is proceeding apace. Thanks guys!

  • alexoloughlin

    I wouldn’t say it was entirely down to Obama’s declaration although some credit is due. The UK’s David Cameron, a conservative Prime Minister came out for equal marriage in October 2011. Obama had no impact on that decision obviously. If anything, I suspect New Zealand’s decision had more to do with the UK’s, it being a commonwealth member, but great to see another country get on board. France first, New Zealand, then the UK. The latter will probably get a first reading of a bill in 2013 followed by two more then a final vote, same as New Zealand. Unlike Australia, New Zealand’s parliamentary system of government is virtually identical to the UK’s, no state by state legislation and much easier to pass legislation. Australia’s more closely resembles the federal system of the U.S., more difficult to pass.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @alexoloughlin: The article is quoting from a NZ MP that Obama was a “catalyst” not “entirely down”. And, as you point out Obama had no impact on David Cameron, clearly, Cameron had little effect on NZ — NZ’s PM didn’t support equality when Cameron called for it, but after Obama did.

    As you point out, the good news is all these other countries coming on-board — though you neglected Scotland, where its action is a bit ahead of the rest of the UK.

  • AndrewIB

    Another enlightened moment from New Zealand..Wonderful country, fabulous men..

  • Andrew

    Good on you NZ. I just hope ours comes soon. The State of Tas is getting there and the ACT is also getting on the train. You’d think that New South Wales with Sydney would be the first state to bring this up?!

  • ChiChi Man

    @alexoloughlin: The MP quoted in the article actually introduced the bill – so if she says that Obama was the catalyst, I’d believe her.

    Cameron’s support came last year. Obama’s announcement came on May 9 and on May 14 Louisa Wall (quoted above) announced her intention to introduce the bill. She did so on May 30.

    I, for one, am thrilled that the President’s support of marriage equality is moving this issue forward.

  • Billysees

    Good show for the land of Kiwis.

    “Kia ora” …… to all New Zealanders.

  • Triple S

    @Andrew: As fantastic as it would be to have gay marriage in Tasmania, it won’t happen.
    Look at the situation, Labour said that the Greens would be the last on their preferences, and obviously, that has peeved the Greens.

    BUT WAIT! Miraculously, Labour is going for Gay marriage in Tasmania! Where there are HEAPS of GREENS!

    It was just a ploy to keep the Greens shut up. It won’t happen.

    OK, it MIGHT happen, but I SERIOUSLY doubt it, knowing Labour and the Greens.

Comments are closed.