New Zealand: Parliament Approves Marriage Equality Bill: First Weddings in August

Written by scott on April 17th, 2013

New Zealand ParliamentParliament held the third reading of the marriage equality bill today, passing it easily, 77 to 44. Gay Star News reports:

The third reading of a marriage equality bill was held in the New Zealand parliament today (Wednesday 17 April) and was passed by 77 MPs’ votes to 44. ‘Excluding one group from marriage is oppressive and unacceptable,’ said the Bill’s sponsor Labour MP Louisa Wall, who was wearing a rainbow top for the occasion, when introducing the Bill. ‘Nothing could make me more proud to be a New Zealander than passing this bill.’ The speeches before the vote were overwhelmingly celebratory in tone, marking the vote as a historic milestone for civil rights in New Zealand.

Towleroad reports on one of the speeches given during the debate, by New Zealand MP Maurice Williamson:

I’ve had a reverend in my local electorate say the ‘gay onslaught will start the day this law is passed’. So, we are struggling to know what the gay onslaught will look like. We don’t know if it will come down the Pakaranga highway as a series of troops or whether it will be a gas that flows over the electorate and blocks us all in.”

“I also had a Catholic priest tell me that I was supporting an unnatural act. I found that interesting coming from someone who has taken an oath of celibacy for his whole life.”

“I also had a leader tell me I would burn in the fires of hell for eternity and that was a bad mistake because I’ve got a degree in physics. I used the thermodynamic laws of physics. I put in my body weight and my humidity and so on. I assumed the furnace to be at 5000 degrees and I will last for just on 2.1 seconds.”

“One of the messages I’d had was that this bill was the cause of our drought. This bill was the cause of our drought. Well if any of you follow my Twitter account, In the Pakuranga electorate this morning, it was pouring with rain, we had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate. It has to be a sign.”

See the video the speech below.

Not only that, but the parliament literally broke out into song, literally, after the bill was passed, as also reports.

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.

Truly a day for celebration – watch the video of the whole parliament in song. It brought tears to my eyes to see such joy.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Zealand.


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