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:
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