Same-Sex Marriage Legalised In New Zealand

The New Zealand parliament has passed a bill with a fairly large majority (77:44) in favour of same-sex marriage, the first country in the continent of Oceania to do so. The bill amends the 1955 marriage act and led to celebrations across the country, particularly in the capital, Wellington. One way they expressed their happiness was by singing a New Zealand love song called “Pokarekare Ana”. The Labour MP who introduced the bill (Louisa Wall) said that the bill enabled “declaration of love and commitment to a special person”.

However, according to polls, approximately  one-third of citizens opposed the bill – most notably, christian lobby groups. Bob McCoskrie, the founder of one christian lobby group, Family First, said the amendment to the marriage act undermined the traditional concept of marriage. Whilst Colin Craig, the conservative party leader, stated that New Zealand is “seeing the politicians make a decision… that the people of this country wouldn’t make”.

Worldwide, same-sex marriage has been on the agenda. We recently made a post on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Uruguay and another post on the ‘ban’ of same-sex marriage in Hungary. In Australia, their neighbouring country, they voted overwhelmingly against a similar bill. The UK continue to not allow same-sex marriage, although civil partnerships are allowed, and in the United States nine states have legalised it (but it seems more states will soon follow). In total there are now 13 countries who have legalised same-sex marriage:

marruage

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Congress of Uruguay Approves Bill Supporting Gay Marriage

The Uruguayan Congress has followed Argentina to support gay marriage and cast an overwhelming vote to legalise it. The bill has faced opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, but it still managed to achieve over two-thirds of the required votes in the lower chamber of their Congress. The proposal has also been backed in the upper house and the bill is expected to be signed into law within the next 2 weeks by the president (Jose Mujica) who has been keenly supporting the bill.

The Marriage Equality Law allows fo same-sex couples to chose the surnames of children they adopt and it increases the minimum age of consent for a sexual relationship from 12 for women and 14 for men to 16 for both genders.

marriage uruguay

The question is, how long will it be until other countries follow suit? Or do you not want your country to follow?

Although some American states have made significant strides in supporting and legalising gay marriage, plenty of others do not want to see gay marriage ever implemented to law. This has been a social problem that has divided people for a long time and it is a problem that politicians fear to face in case they lose support – Are they, therefore, not fulfilling their representative function?

In the UK, same sex marriage is not legal. Although the law differs between the 4 countries of the UK, since 2005 all UK countries have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships, a separate union which provides the legal consequences of marriage. In 2006, the High Court rejected a legal bid by a British lesbian couple who had married in Canada to have their union recognised as a marriage in the UK and not as a civil partnership

What are your views?

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