Congratulations New Zealand! You’re the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex marriage and the 13th country in the world to pass marriage equality legislation.
You have officially kicked Australia’s arse on this one. Major props.
According to ABC.net.au:
The bill, which passed 77 votes to 44, redefines marriage as a union between two people, rather than a man and woman.
National Party prime minister John Key backed the legislation, which was introduced by Labour MP Louisa Wall. Ms Hall says the law change has widespread public support, particularly among young people.She says it shows just how far public opinion has come in New Zealand.
In total, leaders of seven of the country’s eight political parties supported the change.
It is due to take effect within four months, which means gay couples will be able to legally wed in New Zealand as early as August.
The law change would also open the door for married gay couples to adopt children.
Bravo New Zealand! How lame does Australia look in comparison. Here are the other countries where same-sex marriage is legal and the date their legislation was passed:
- New Zealand, 2013
- Uruguay, 2013
- Denmark, 2012
- Argentina, 2010
- Portugal, 2010
- Iceland, 2010
- Sweden, 2009
- Norway, 2009
- South Africa, 2006
- Spain, 2005
- Canada, 2005
- Belgium, 2003
- The Netherlands, 2000
The marriage equality lobby in Australia say hundreds of couples will now take the short flight to NZ to get married but just like in all the countries above (the UK is set to pass legislation later this year) their marriages won’t be legally recognised when they return home.
Come on Julia Gillard, it’s time.
After the bill was passed last night, people in the gallery started singing New Zealand’s love song, “Pokarekare Ana”. Watch the incredible video below:
And this fantastic speech from MP Maurice Williamson had everyone in the office fist-pumping: