New Zealand’s parliament voted 77 to 44 in order to legalize same-sex marriage. Applause and celebrations broke out as the vote was announced. A few broke out into song after the two hour debate and the Members of Parliament were able to take their vote.
Louisa Wall, the bill’s sponsor, along with National MP Tau Henare and Green MP Kevin Hague were all presented with flowers. Those opposed to the bill left the public gallery quietly.
Among those who spoke during the debate was Green MP Mojo Mathers who garnered applause after she spoke about how her daughter went to her first formal with her girlfriend last year. Mathers said “Like countless other young woman she hopes for love, marriage, children and a house with a white picket fence. All of those options are available to her older sister. To see them have equal rights before the law is very important to me.”
MP Chris Auchinvole asked that the younger generation show patience and consideration for those in the older generation by giving them time to adjust to the change because it “will be very, very new to us.”
MP Jonathan Young planned to vote against the bill stating that “I believe our society is probably more divided than this House is on this issue.” Still he felt the bill would pass, but that the debate was not about love. He said that love could not be legislated against because “The human heart was to random and too romantic for that.”
France is currently debating their own marriage equality legislation, which has largely passed. The two nations will become part of a growing number of nations to have legalized same-sex marriage.
Opposition to same-sex marriage has been brutal at times, which a marked rise in the number of homophobic attacks on the rise in various locations. Many major religious groups are still opposed to same-sex marriage including the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Congregation.