Parliament has just passed a law legalising gay marriage, 77 votes to 44, amid loud shows of jubilation from the floor and the gallery.
The declaration of the vote was followed by a waiata.
MPs held a conscience vote on the private member’s bill sponsored by gay Labour MP Louisa Wall.
The bill will take effect in mid August and comes 27 years after New Zealand decriminalised homosexuality.
- same-sex couples can get legally married (not just civil unions, though these are still available to any couple of whatever sex/es) - it will be up to religious organisations to decide for themselves whether to offer same-sex marriage
- transgender people, who got married as their assigned gender but later want to officially change to their preferred gender, don’t have to get a divorce as part of doing that, which they used to be required to do, which was pretty goddamn mean (it’s not part of this law but we recently got a change meaning that you can change the gender listed on your NZ passport with a simple signed declaration, and you can choose ‘X’ instead of ‘M’ or ‘F’ if you prefer, which I think is A Good Thing)
- those same-sex married couples will be able to adopt children together if they want to
- Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
This makes New Zealand the first of the Asia-Pacific countries to legislate for marriage equality. I am so pleased that my country has taken such an important step in the right direction. The destination is a mature and mellow acceptance of the healthy and lively variety of human sexuality and gender. Let’s celebrate passing this milestone and keep on going!