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Watch the New Zealand Parliament Break Into Song as Gay Marriage is Legalized: VIDEO

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Hundreds of spectators in the gallery of New Zealand's parliament broke into a rendition of the love song “Pokarekare Ana” in the indigenous Maori language after the marriage equality bill was passed today.

Louisa Wall, the bill's lesbian sponsor, is below on the left.

This is what equality sounds like.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Wall

Continue reading "Watch the New Zealand Parliament Break Into Song as Gay Marriage is Legalized: VIDEO" »


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.


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