STATE OF THE UNION

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.”