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New Zealand Legalizes Gay Marriage, Spectators Break Out Into Song
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The New Zealand Parliament voted to redefine the nation’s terms of marriage to include same-sex marriages on Wednesday. The bill, which was approved 77-44, grants same-sex couples the right to marry on the small island nation and entitles them to the same rights granted to couples in a heterosexual relationship.

The passage of the bill makes New Zealand the 13th country in the world to allow gay couples to marry, and also gives them the right to jointly adopt children. Same-sex marriages performed in New Zealand will be recognized by other nations as well. The law takes effect in August.

  
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The vote over the bill turned into something of an emotional day for the Parliament. A speech made by MP Maurice Williamson prior to the vote has gone viral across the world. In his speech, he said “I’ve had a reverend in my local electorate say, ‘The gay onslaught will start the day this law is passed.’ Well, we are struggling to know what the gay onslaught will look like. I also had a leader telling me I would burn in the fires of hell of eternity, and that was a bad mistake, because I’ve got a degree in physics.”

“All we’re doing with this bill is allowing to people who love each other to have that love recognized by way of marriage,” Williamson continued. “We are not declaring nuclear war on a foreign state; we are not bringing a virus in that could wipe out our agriculture sector forever.”

As seen in a video from YouTube, after announcing that the bill had been voted into law, the doors to the parliament were opened, and observers were allowed to enter the room’s rafters. There, the gathered spectators sang “Pokarekare Ana” before the legislators. The song was directed towards lesbian MP Louisa Wall, who sponsored the controversial bill. The song is a traditional New Zealand love song in the Maori language, and was popularized in World War I.

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Wall released a statement after the vote, saying “I am very proud to be a Member of a Parliament that has voted overwhelmingly to give New Zealanders, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender, the right to marry. I feel immensely proud to be a Kiwi tonight.”





 

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