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New Zealand Becomes 13th Nation to Approve Marriage Equality

New Zealand has legalized same-sex marriage in a 77-44 vote on a third and final reading of the bill, the New Zealand Herald reports:

NewzealandThe bill will take effect in mid August and comes 27 years after New Zealand decriminalised homosexuality.

Same-sex marriage supporters at the Campaign for Marriage Equality party in Wellington cheered loudly and applauded as the bill was passed into law.

More than a hundred supporters gathered at the San Francisco Bath House bar on Wellington's Cuba St to watch the vote. They will be joined later tonight by the bill's sponsor, Labour MP Louisa Wall, who is expected to be welcomed with a haka before addressing supporters.

There was a din of anticipation in the moments before the vote was announced, followed by a hush as the vote was read.

The bar then erupted into cheers and applause. Supporters embraced and joined in a waiata following the vote.

New Zealand joins Uruguay, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark as the 13th nation to offer its citizens nationwide marriage equality.

Brazil, Mexico, and of course, the U.S. offer it in parts of the country.


New Zealand Set to Pass Marriage Equality Tonight

As I mentioned earlier in the week, New Zealand is set to pass marriage equality tonight on its third and final reading. Passage is virtually assured.

NewzealandIf you are an American night owl you can watch it happen. Live streaming available HERE.

As far as timing goes, should happen at around 3:30 am EDT.

Champagne is on ice, TVNZ reports:

MP Louisa Wall's Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, which would allow same-sex couples to marry, is due to have its third reading and final vote in Parliament.

Big crowds are expected at Parliament tonight ahead of the reading, and celebration parties are planned across the country. There is a fully booked public gallery at Parliament to watch the historic moment. Representatives of France, Spain and the US will attend and international media will cover the event.


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.


Marriage Equality Virtually Assured Passage in New Zealand After Winning Critical Vote

New Zealand is poised to pass marriage equality as lawmakers approved the legislation in an overwhelming vote of confidence in the second of three readings today, the AP reports:

NewzealandLawmakers supported the bill 77 to 44 in the second of three votes needed for a bill to be approved. The second vote is typically the most crucial one. The third and final vote is likely to be little more than a formality and could be taken as early as next month.

Wednesday’s vote came after a committee of lawmakers considered emails and letters from thousands of New Zealanders.

More than 200 people crammed into the Parliament’s public gallery to watch lawmakers debate the bill before they voted at about 10:15 p.m. The mostly young crowd clapped and cheered for lawmakers who spoke in support of the bill, and sat in silence for those who spoke in opposition.

The New Zealand Herald adds:

The bill is likely to return to Parliament for the committee stage at the end of the month, when MPs would pick through the legislation clause by clause.

It could be passed as soon as next month, after which there was a four-month stand-down period before same-sex and transgender marriages could take place.


New Zealand Parliament Committee Advances Marriage Equality Bill

A New Zealand Parliamentary Select Committee has advanced a marriage equality bill, the New Zealand Herald reports:

NewzealandThe Government Administration Committee said the private member's bill should progress, but with an amendment to make it clear that no minister was obliged to marry someone against their own beliefs.

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.


Another Look At The Anti-Gay 'Fatherless Deviant' Yarn

Womens_workGarth McVicar is unyielding in his claim that same-sex marriage leads to violent crime. Though most people, including MPs, laughed at the New Zealand anti-gay activist's outrageous claim - and his various misspellings - McVicar this weekend dedicated himself anew to convincing people he's on the right track, and that gay nuptials are a detour to depravity.

In an interview with The New Zealand Herald, McVicar doubled down, saying, "If you look at the court stats, most of the crime that has been committed has been committed by fatherless kids." He also warned that gay adoption would have a similar effect, adding, "That's where it's heading - this is just another step in that politically correct journey that we've been on as a country."

Asked if two gay men, two dads, adopting would cancel out the detrimental effects, McCivar, not surprisingly, said no. Kids need a mother, as well. That's the basic formula for almost all anti-gay marriage movements. Opposition to gays raising kids is one of the main reasons the anti-marriage equality movement in France has such widespread and varied support. In France, in New Zealand and the world over, the conservative refrain remains largely the same: kids need both a mom and a dad, not two moms and not two dads. And, yes, this math also considers a single mother is less than, too.

And that's one of the subtexts that's often unexplored in these conservative arguments: the idea that a woman is not sufficient enough to raise a child alone. That women in general are not equal to men, that their power is only activated when complemented by a man's. Even then the woman's abilities are only suited for cooking, cleaning and birthing. Rational people living in this time period know that's not the case. Even still, it's this old, debunked theory that laid the seed for its more contemporary odious offshoot, the "no two dads; no two moms" meme.

When McVicar and his allies are attacking gay couples, they're also implicitly attacking women. It's hard, tiring - and tiresome - work. And yet most of the right wingers like McVicar still find time, and opportunity, to fulfill what they call their main goal: procreation. Where's Lysistrata when you need her?


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