New Zealand Poised to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage on Wednesday

New Zealand is set to passed marriage equality this week, TVNZ reports:

NewzealandLabour MP Louisa Wall's marriage equality member's bill is due to have its third reading in Parliament on Wednesday night.

The bill passed its committee stages with 77 votes to 43 last month and little change was anticipated for the final vote.

Big crowds, including a few celebrities, were expected to be in Parliament's public gallery to witness the vote.

Once the bill is passed it will be four months before the first same-sex couples can be married.


  1. Adam says

    New Zealand is far more progressive on gay rights than its neighbor Australia. Australia is a place where the gay community is exceedingly inactive. Australia’s gay community has completely failed to sway politicians.

  2. james says

    I’m happy every time marriage equality comes to another jurisdiction.

    However, it is not entirely accurate to compare nationalized marriage law countries,such as New Zealand or Uruguay or France to a federal system in which each state makes the decision, such as the America, Mexico, and Brazil.

    Also, more people in America live in places where same-sex marriage is legal than live in all of New Zealand.

    And I’m leaning towards some place else being last, like, oh, Iran.

  3. GregII says

    Its s worthy noting though that in Australia, we already have ALL the rights that granting same sex marriage in this country would give – under our De Facto relationship laws. These have already been gained by our GLBTQI community. It is true to say that basically, what we are fighting over is the term ‘marriage’ and the acknowledgement that our relationships are just as valuable as a hetro couple’s is. But gaining SS marriage in this country will not grant any more ‘rights or privileges’ – unlike the USA, where the institution of marriage gives a whole range of other benefits and rights to those citizens who enter into it. Don’t get me wrong – I am all for fighting for this in the terms of equal recognition, but the fact that we already have these rights is often over-looked when people talk about Oz; they always seem to assume that we are backwards over here, without realising that in many, if not all, ways under the law, we are ahead of the pack in the recognition of our relationships as legally equal to any other couple that is together in a committed relationship.

  4. chris says

    A state’s legalization of same sex marriage is a step in the right direction but means nothing to someone like me, formerly a life long Massachusetts resident, (first to legalize same sex marriage,) married to my partner of 12 years, a South African. He and I live in SA after 7 years in the US, wading through various work visas and green card applications subjecting us to potential separation and charges of immigration fraud.

    So we moved. How life affirming to be out of that nightmare in the land of the free. Same sex marriage and equal rights for same sex couples are recognized in SOUTH AFRICA, a developing nation, and I can live and work in this country based on our marriage (or long term partnership if we were not married!) 5 years later and I will never look back.

    In the States, immigration rights are FEDERAL…so even living in Massachusetts did not protect us.

    So for anyone comparing national recognition like in New Zealand to a US state doing the same: Unfortunately when the marriage is basically made irrelevant because you can’t live together because of national regulation, what good is the state law?

    Legally, if I want to live with my husband based on the validity of our relationship, it needs to be in another country, not the USA, no matter what the state law is.

  5. GregII says

    My point exactly Chris – you can already do the same here in Oz through the de-facto relationship same sex recognition.

  6. james says

    Chris, you are exactly right on the immigration issue, which is a national shame in America. As is DOMA, which allows one state to refuse to recognize a legal same-sex marriage from another state, a provision I believe is unconstitutional.

    And while I’m glad you found a home in South Africa, marriage equality isn’t exactly sweeping the whole continent.

  7. Darrell says

    Jols you have forgotten Canada in regards to your comment and the GB has not “marriage” but civil partnership.

  8. says

    There’s a New Australian election coming up and the leaders of both parties have publicly said they don’t support gay marriage. That does make me feel like I live in a backward country.

  9. Craig Nelson says

    GB does not currently have marriage equality. However both England and Wales (via the UK Parliament) and Scotland (via the devolved Scottish Parliament) are planning to introduce legislation to allow for same Sex couples to marry. For England and Wales The bill has had its general debate (2nd reading) with a 400-175 vote in favour and has passed its committee stage. It now awaits 2 further stages in the UK House of Commons and then to the House of Lords where it may not have a majority. In Scotland a bill has been published but not introduced yet into the Scottish (unicameral) Parliament where the bill is likely to have a big majority. Opposition from churches (the Church of England has 26 bishops who speak and vote in the House of Lords) varies between hysterical and blood curdling.

  10. chris says

    James – to be fair, no, gay rights throughout most of the rest of the African continent are shocking, and even cultural acceptance of gay partnerships within SA are deplorable in more traditional communities…( “corrective rape” of lesbians in the township.) BUT from my perspective…..looking at my rights as an American…..I am speaking of the sense of personal violation I feel and which are not protected by my residency in any particular state, even the most liberal.

  11. Craig S says

    Darrell, Jols was talking about the countries that have passed SSM legislation so far *this* year; Canada (and several other countries) have already had it for several years now, which is why he didn’t mention them.