New Zealand Approves Gay Marriage

New Zealand Approves Gay MarriageNew Zealand’s parliament has legalised same-sex marriage, the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. Lawmakers approved the bill, amending the 1955 marriage act, despite opposition from Christian lobby groups. The bill was passed with a wide majority, with 77 votes in favour and 44 against.

‘More divided’

Some opinion polls have suggested that about two-thirds of New Zealanders support the reform, although others polls suggest the public are more divided.

Parliamentarians were allowed a conscience vote, and, crucially, the reform had the backing of both the Prime Minister John Key and leader of the opposition David Shearer, the BBC’s Phil Mercer in Sydney reports.


‘Traditional concept of marriage’

Same-sex civil unions have been legal in New Zealand since 2005. However, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig said there were many people who disagreed with the bill. Bob McCoskrie, founder of the lobby group Family First, said the bill undermined the traditional concept of marriage.

New Zealand becomes the 13th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Other countries include the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Argentina and Uruguay. No other country in the Asia-Pacific region allows gay marriage.

Are you in favor of same-sex marriage? Why or why not? Feel free to voice out your opinions and justify your vote via the comment box below!

Source: BBC News

Image: Channel News Asia

British MPs Vote In Favor Of Gay Marriage

British MPs Vote In Favor Of Gay MarriageMPs have approved same-sex marriage in England and Wales in a key Commons vote, despite the opposition of almost half the Conservative MPs. The Commons voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, by 400 to 175, a majority of 225, at the end of a full day’s debate on the bill.

‘Equality and justice’

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the move as “an important step forward” that strengthens society. Voting lists show that 136 Conservatives opposed the bill. This figure includes two cabinet ministers – Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh Secretary David Jones – eight junior ministers, and eight whips. Of the remaining Conservative MPs, 127 were in favour, 35 did not vote, and five registered an abstention by voting both in favour and against.

Junior justice minister Helen Grant said: “As Tories we do differ at times. We have squabbles – we’re like any other family.” But she described the legislation as “a major step forward for equality and justice”.


‘Landmark for equality’

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: “I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain… Tonight’s vote shows Parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage… No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.”

MPs were given a free vote on the bill, meaning they were not ordered to vote a particular way by party whips. Their decision to back the bill at second reading signifies that they approve of it in principle. The legislation will now receive more detailed parliamentary scrutiny.

How about you — are you for or against gay marriage? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions regarding this issue!

Source: BBC News

Image: London Evening Standard