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NEW ZEALAND **1 Aug 2013 Same-sex weddings become legal

New Zealand’s parliamentarians voted overwhelmingly to approve marriage for gay and lesbian couples in April, and the law is expected to come i

August 1, 2013 - NULL

NEW ZEALAND **1 Aug 2013 Same-sex weddings become legal

New Zealand's parliamentarians voted overwhelmingly to approve marriage for gay and lesbian couples in April, and the law is expected to come into effect in August. New Zealand has provided civil unions since 2005. It will be the first Pacific country to legalize same-sex marriage, and only the second Commonwealth country: gay marriage has been legal in most Canadian provinces since 2003. Legalization is being debated in neighboring island nation Australia, as well as in Britain, France Uruguay and Mexico. Twelve years after the first gay marriage in the

NEW ZEALAND **1 Aug 2013 Same-sex weddings become legal

New Zealand's parliamentarians voted overwhelmingly to approve marriage for gay and lesbian couples in April, and the law is expected to come into effect in August. New Zealand has provided civil unions since 2005. It will be the first Pacific country to legalize same-sex marriage, and only the second Commonwealth country: gay marriage has been legal in most Canadian provinces since 2003. Legalization is being debated in neighboring island nation Australia, as well as in Britain, France Uruguay and Mexico. Twelve years after the first gay marriage in the world, it is legal in 11 countries. New Zealand will be the 12th and Uruguay, which is close to approving it, would be the 13th.

The BBC notes that in Jun 2012, Denmark became the 11th country to approve same-sex marriage - 23 years after it became the first country in the world to recognize gay civil partnerships. Other countries followed Denmark in allowing civil unions, but it was left to the Netherlands to allow gay marriage in a law that also allowed same-sex couples the right to adopt children. Just after midnight on 1 April 2001, one female couple and three male couples were married by the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, in the first legal gay marriage ceremony in the world.

In New Zealand, the sponsor of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is Labour Party MP Louisa Wall, who is a lesbian. Unlike many countries where gay marriage is being debated, New Zealand is unlikely to have to worry about a backlash from conservative religious groups and the Catholic Church because some two-thirds of New Zealanders approve of marriage equality. (WRITTEN APR 2013)

*ESTIMATED DATE IN AUGUST

TAGS: New Zealand, Asia-Pacific, August 2013, gay marriage, same sex marriage, same-sex marriage, civil unions, legalise same sex marriage, legalize same-sex marriage, legal gay marriage, legalize gay marriage, legalise gay marriage, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill

RELATED READING:

New Zealand legalises same-sex marriage (Guardian 17 Apr 2013)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/17/new-zealand-legalises-same-sex-marriage

New Zealand's Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage (CNN 17 Apr 2013)
http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/world/new-zealand-same-sex-marriage/

Gay marriage around the world (BBC 17 Apr 2013)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21321731

Date written/update: 2013-08-01