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April 29, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Love Legalised

Last Wednesday, the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its third and final reading, with 77 votes for the Bill and 44 against.

Royal assent was given by the Governor- General on Friday, meaning that the Bill will be officially incorporated into New Zealand law.

The Third Reading of the Bill drew such a large audience that, in addition to the public and Speaker’s galleries, a screening room was set up in Parliament. San Francisco Bath House, Ivy, and S&M’s bar also screened the Reading.

The majority of speeches were in support of the Bill, with Minister for Building and Construction Maurice Williamson becoming a gay icon in the process.

“One of the messages I had was that this bill was the cause of our drought. Well… in the Pakuranga electorate this morning it was pouring with rain. We had the most enormous, big, gay rainbow across my electorate. It has to be a sign,” he said.

MP Jonathan Young criticised the “legalise love” campaign, saying that love isn’t something that can be legislated.

“My view is that history and tradition have invested significant meaning into the term ‘marriage’ and I believe that we need to retain its present definition,” he said.

Minister of Courts Chester Borrows acknowledged that the Bill wouldn’t detract from his own heterosexual marriage, but stated that he was against the Bill because he thought that there should be more debate surrounding the definition of marriage.

VUWSA Equity Officer Matthew Ellison is proud of the work VUWSA and UniQ put towards ensuring the Bill’s passage was successful.

“Early on… Rory, the president, [and I] gave an oral submission to the select committee on behalf of our members.

“As part of its Pride Week last year, UniQ ran several events supporting marriage equality… We also hosted a marriage debate involving Grant Robertson and Kevin Hague, and worked with the Campaign for Marriage Equality, and Legalise Love,” Ellison said.

Same-sex couples will be able to marry from 19 August.

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