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New Zealand PM “Not Opposed” to Gay Marriage

New Zealand PM “Not Opposed” to Gay Marriage

President Barack Obama made a huge announcement on Wednesday, stating that he supported equal marriage rights for gay couples. His announcement set a global standard that many hope will begin to make changes to policies in countries around the world. As the Associated Press reports:

“This is incredibly important, it’s excellent news. The United States is a global leader on everything, and that includes gay rights,” said Julio Moreira, president of the Rio de Janeiro-based Arco-Iris gay rights group. “This will force other nations like Brazil to move forward with more progressive policies.”

While a scant few countries, such as Argentina, allow same-sex marriages, a vast swath of countries have no legislation that supports marriage equality, including New Zealand. In the wake of President Obama’s announcement, which has roiled many conservative factions in the last day or so, other world leaders have been called upon to make similar announcements regarding their stance on gay marriage.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, announced on Thursday that he is “not personally opposed to gay marriage,” according to a statement he gave to the Associated Press. But Key also stated that he felt there was no big push for a change in marriage legislation in the country.

Key has regularly attended The Big Gay Out, an LGBT festival held annually in New Zealand. According to Gay New Zealand, Key has attended every year since his election in 2008. Earlier this year at the Big Gay Out festivities, GayNZ.com caught the PM to ask him a few questions about his stance on pushing for marriage equality legislation.

In the article he was quoted as stating that same-sex marriage rights were unlikely to progress in the near future. He further stated to GayNZ.com that, “the days when people are discriminated against because they’re gay or lesbian or transgender are well and truly gone.” While Key remains, in principle, a firm supporter of gay rights, he seems reticent to acknowledge the continued discrimination that continues for same-sex couples in the current global climate.

Key leads the National Party and won his seat in 2008 on a platform of “change,” similar to that of President Obama in the United States. The opposition leader of the Labour party, David Shearer, also made an announcement on Thursday stating that he expressed support of gay marriage equality, but he stated that he would need to see the legislation before signing it into law, according to information garnered by the Associated Press.

Both political leaders in New Zealand are taking rather neutral stances on the issue, which allows them to navigate around actually initiating any kind of change on the state of marriage equality in the country. New Zealand does allow civil unions between two people of the same sex, legislation that passed in 2004, a small gain for the LGBT community.

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Photo Credit: kelvinhu

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10 comments

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4:24PM PDT on May 13, 2012

For what ever reason Obama "evolved", other world leaders and countries will "evolve" for many diffenent reasons and then the GLBTQ community will not only be tolerated but accepted. Maybe not in my lifetime but it will happen. Thanks for the article Sarah.

5:38AM PDT on May 12, 2012

Now it's time for Julia Gillard to support it too.

4:38PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Imm, you either support or you don't. No sitting on fences.Mr Key, I don't support you because you are not stopping the deep sea oil drilling on our shores !!!

3:57PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Well, at least it's a start. Not opposing is not saying he approves, though.

5:56AM PDT on May 11, 2012

"I support" is affirmative and committing. Save your own asses politicos...whatever you do don't stand up for rights, morals and justice if it won't get you re-elected.

8:10PM PDT on May 10, 2012

Perhaps the winds of change are also in New Zealand for those who do not want to wait any longer for full equality?

7:20PM PDT on May 10, 2012

its a start, i wonder what will happen next, if anything

4:46PM PDT on May 10, 2012

thanks

3:42PM PDT on May 10, 2012

How can a world leader say he is "not opposed to gay marriage" and Not do everything possible to promote marriage equality. ?? Seems like all politicians love to talk out of both sides of their mouths no matter what country they are in.

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