Main | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Marriage Advances In New Zealand

New Zealand's marriage equality bill passed overwhelmingly today in its first of three readings.
The 80 to 40 vote in front of a packed and cheering public gallery was the first of three votes Parliament must take before the bill can become law, a process that typically takes several months and allows the public to weigh in. Only a simple majority was needed to ensure a second vote, and the margin is a strong indication that the law will be passed. Should New Zealand pass the measure into law, it would become the 12th country since 2001 to recognize same-sex marriages. Some states in the U.S. also recognize such marriages, but the federal government does not. Polls indicate about two-thirds of New Zealanders support gay marriage. It also has the support of most of the country’s political leaders.
New Zealand's parliament has an interesting method of casting votes. Members actually get up from their seats to cast their votes on opposing sides of the podium. The result comes at 12:00. In the second clip, primary sponsor Louisa Wall (Labour) makes her case.

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