Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | New Zealand | News

New Zealand Poised to Pass Marriage Equality; Obama Given Credit

New Zealand is extremely close to being the next country to have marriage equality for its citizens, the AP reports:

Marriage_obamaThe 80 to 40 vote in front of a packed and cheering public gallery was the first of three votes Parliament must hold before the bill can become law, a process that typically takes several months and allows the public to weigh in. Only a simple majority was needed to ensure a second vote, and the margin is a strong indication that the bill will be passed.

Should New Zealand pass the measure into law, it would become the 12th country since 2001 to recognize same-sex marriage. Some states in the U.S. also recognize such marriages, but the federal government does not.

What spurred the bill?

The proposed changes can be directly traced to Obama’s declaration in May in support of gay marriage. That prompted center-right Prime Minister John Key to break his long silence on the issue by saying he was “not personally opposed” to the idea. Then lawmaker Louisa Wall, from the opposition Labour Party, put forward a bill she had previously drafted.

“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,” Wall told The Associated Press. “The timing was right.”

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  1. Yet one more country leading the United States in equality for all its citizens. Maybe someday we will catch up with the rest of the free worlds.

    Posted by: Ricco | Aug 29, 2012 12:49:44 PM

  2. And some conservatives will say that Obama's "words" were just just words.

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Aug 29, 2012 12:56:28 PM

  3. New Zealand rocks...and now they need to re-run and re-stage that huge film they did down there...what was it now? Oh right...

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 29, 2012 1:22:38 PM

  4. I do not even think that the USA will be one of the first twenty-five countries to reach equality and there are still fourteen slots open.

    Posted by: Blake | Aug 29, 2012 1:51:54 PM

  5. New Zealand is one of the most AMAZING countries in the world. And now you all have an extra reason to give them your tours is dollars.

    Posted by: Paul | Aug 29, 2012 2:29:56 PM

  6. We loved our time in New Zealand, even did the tacky but fun "Ringers' Tour". Beautiful people, beautiful wonderful land, not tainted by our puritanic, hateful mores.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 29, 2012 2:38:58 PM

  7. Well, at least a country got the hint from Pres. Obama. Sadly, it wasn't our country. New Zealand, taking steps to be on the right side of history, before the USA.

    Posted by: DF | Aug 29, 2012 2:39:41 PM

  8. The problem is the state by state system in the U.S. If the Supreme Court doesn't legalize it nationwide then I don't think it will be legal in every single state for another 20 years.

    Posted by: Anthony | Aug 29, 2012 2:41:59 PM

  9. If not for the Supreme Court, there would still be states outlawing mixed-race marriages.

    Just remember, the only thing you need to remember on Election Day -- Ruth Bader Ginsberg is OLD.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Aug 29, 2012 2:47:11 PM

  10. Anyuone who knows New Zealand is not surprised. What is surprising is how quick the US media and New Zealand Left attributed this to Obama, who has very little influence in New Zealand. The majority the conservative National Party backed the measure with Prime Minister John Key supporting it. Key was always more socially liberal, though not vocal. Key said it was thinking about his kids that got him to confirm on it. Key, like the last leader of the conservative National Party is a non-believer. NZ is primarily a secular country and it passed civil unions in 2004.

    Opinion continued to shift strongly and polls prior to Obama's last minute conversion showed strong support for the measure. The youth wings of National, ACT, Labour and the Greens were all pushing for this. Two bills were put in the hopper and what gets put forward is due to the luck of the draw, not to Obama's positions.

    Posted by: James Peron | Aug 29, 2012 4:52:07 PM

  11. Not true. The NZ bill was submitted some time ago and happened to be drawn by random ballot. The timing is a complete coincidence. She didn't have the right, as a private member, to submit a bill directly.

    Posted by: Frances | Aug 29, 2012 6:50:48 PM

  12. Prior two comments from GOProud operative(s) are outright lying. Louisa Wall submitted the bill in May this year, right after Obama's comments drew New Zealand's PM's response. It then came up for a vote a few months later because it was randomly drawn.

    Lying about easily verifiable facts is hardly surprising coming from these cretins. It's not as if their own violent self-loathing is sellable on its own merits.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Aug 29, 2012 8:47:59 PM

  13. Marriage equality is not poised to pass into law in New Zealand just yet. That was the first reading of the bill and it passed by a good majority, there is a select committee process when the public and interest groups get an opportunity to comment, a second reading then a third reading which is usually a formality. No doubt the select committee will be told if marriage equality becomes law in New Zealand the sky will fall on our heads. From the numbers of votes in parliament supporting the first reading of the bill I think it's very likely it will be become and Act of parliament and then law. And all those dumb predictions of plagues, famines and uprisings will not come to pass.

    Posted by: Stephen | Aug 29, 2012 10:14:46 PM

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