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Hear the Song of Equality as New Zealand Legalizes Gay Marriage!

Hear the Song of Equality as New Zealand Legalizes Gay Marriage!

New Zealand lawmakers voted on Wednesday to legalize marriage equality in a sound victory that saw song break out in parliament.

Watch the historic moment unfold below and hear the haunting “Pokarekare Ana,”  a lovesong rendered in the indigenous Maori language:

Testimony before Wednesday’s 77-44 vote saw passionate speeches, and even some comedy.

New Zealand Member of Parliament Maurice Williamson even took time to consider the supposed “gay onslaught” naysayers were predicting should marriage equality be made law.

“Sir, we are really struggling to know what the gay onslaught will look like,” Williamson said. “We don’t know if it will come down the Pakuranga Highway as a series of troops or whether it’ll be a gas that flows in over the electorate and blocks us all in.”

He also took time to address accusations from a local preacher that he was condoning “an unnatural act,” saying, “I found that quite interesting coming from someone who’s taken an oath of celibacy for his whole life.”

Watch the video below:

The legislation will amend the 1955 Marriage Act to provide same-sex couples the right to marry.  As is standard, the legislation also contains exemptions to emphasize ministers have the right to refuse to officiate such weddings. The law is expected to come into effect in August.

It should be noted that New Zealand is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage, so will this add pressure to the struggle in countries like Australia where lawmakers voted down marriage equality legislation last year despite a groundswell of support?

Not according to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Reports The Sydney Morning Herald:

Asked by a member of the public at a community cabinet in Melbourne on Wednesday night why Australia lagged behind New Zealand in legalising gay marriage, Ms Gillard said she would not be changing her mind on the issue.

“I doubt we’re going to end up agreeing,” Ms Gillard said.

Australia Marriage Equality (AME), the group leading the push for equal marriage rights, has said that while they congratulate New Zealand, they are “deeply embarrassed” that Australia lags behind, and they’re expressing it in terms lawmakers can understand: “Australia will lose a proportion of the estimated $700 million same-sex couples plan to spend on their weddings, as these couples spend their money in New Zealand instead.”

However, AME sounded a note of optimism too, describing the New Zealand vote as a “game changer” because of the “close links between our two countries.”

With this, New Zealand joins the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark in enshrining marriage equality in law. Lawmakers in Uruguay approved a bill last week which will be signed into law shortly.

Lawmakers in France, despite concerted religious conservative resistance and threats of escalating violence, also recently approved legislation, and France looks set to be the next country to join the marriage equality fold.

Notably, Ireland’s Constitutional Convention also voted overwhelmingly this past week to support same-sex marriage rights, a move that does not technically have legal weight but essentially serves to force Ireland’s government to hold a public referendum on the issue.

The chorus of the marriage equality, it seems, grows louder every day.

 

Related Reading:

Uruguay Legalizes Marriage Equality The Drama Free Way!

Did Obama Just Evolve on Gay Marriage Again?

Pope: Gay Marriage Destroys the Essence of Being Human

Read more: , , , , ,

Image credit: Thinkstock.

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113 comments

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3:19PM PDT on May 8, 2013

HAPPY TEARS!!!

Pro gay marriage montage

8:26AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Like the UK - God forbid it should happen here and I don't mean to be irreverent - New Zealand has taken the step towards legalising '.. an abomination'. (Leviticus Ch 18 v 22)

6:20AM PDT on May 2, 2013

I keep returning to this to play the videos again. Two-thumbs-up!

2:10PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

such a beautiful moment indeed! New Zealand has always been such a beautiful country.......its valleys and mountains and breathtaking lakes and vistas! Now, it is truly, truly beautiful for yet one more beautiful reason: gay marriage! What beauty in such a historic moment! Philip from New York City, USA

11:50PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Sing it loud and sing it proud. I was moved to tears. Right on New Zealand

4:31AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

This video brought me to tears. It boils the whole thing down to love. What else really matters? Congratulations New Zealand.

10:56AM PDT on Apr 22, 2013

Grats to New Zealand for caring about the rights of all their people. Loved, loved, loved New Zealand Member of Parliament Maurice Williamson's speech. It was perfect!

12:32AM PDT on Apr 22, 2013

Wonderful !

11:24PM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Yay! I am so proud of New Zealand.

11:23PM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

I'll give Ron this, he is true to his beliefs. Many who oppose marriage equality come here and play all angles of the issue, they manipulate with garbage like the 'slippery slope to pedophilia', tick tock the sky is falling, unabashedly violating the love they preach with hate. I still disagree with all that I am, just sayin.

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