A New Zealand Parliamentary Select Committee has advanced a marriage equality bill, the New Zealand Herald reports:
The committee report said: "The bill seeks to extend the legal right to marry to same-sex couples; it does not seek to interfere with people's religious freedoms."
The Marriage Act would be amended to put beyond doubt that no celebrant recognised by a religious body or nominated by an approved organisation would have to marry a couple if it meant contravening their own, or the organisation's beliefs…
…The report also said that a majority of the select committee agreed that marriage was a human right, and that it was unacceptable for the state to deny this right to same-sex couples.
The bill passed its first reading in an 80-40 vote and will have its second reading on March 13.