New Zealand marriage equality on brink of approval

CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ LOVING SUPPORT: Rosie Jimson-Healey holds a sign as Emma Fawcett and Phillipa Walker kiss during a rally outside Parliament as the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is debated inside.

Supports hold signs and kiss during a rally outside the New Zealand Parliament this March. (Photo: Chris Skelton/Fairfax NZ)

Washington Blade Editor’s Note: New Zealand passed the bill 77-44 today. Congrats!

New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday are expected to give final approval to a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to marry in the country. The country’s Parliament on March 13 approved the same-sex marriage measure introduced by lesbian Parliamentarian Louisa Wall by a 77-44 vote margin in the second of three votes on the proposal. Prime Minister John Key is among those who support the measure.

The vote will take place less than a week after French and Uruguayan lawmakers approved same-sex marriage bills in their respective countries. A commission charged with reforming the Irish constitution on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a recommendation that urges the country’s government to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

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