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New Zealand Poised To Legalize Marriage Equality

This week, the New Zealand Parliament had its second vote — the most crucial of three — and approved marriage equality with a vote of 77 to 40. Typically the third vote is just a formality, suggesting the country is about to become the 12th on the planet to allow the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The first vote took place back in August, when equality advanced with a slightly wider margin of 80–40.

The bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Louisa Wall, implored the lawmakers to stand against the prejudice that LGBT people experience, and even quoted hip-hop artist Macklemore:

WALL: The agony and hardship that so many who bravely made submissions have had to face is unreasonable. But what’s totally unacceptable, is the state perpetuating that agony and hardship by not issuing marriage licences to loving, consenting and eligible non-heterosexual couples. […]

“And I can’t change/ Even if I tried/ Even if I wanted to/ I can’t change…” I hope the House will give a message to all young people. You don’t have to change. You can be who you are and we, as a society, will value who you are.

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Prime Minister John Key has promised his support for marriage equality and even participated in a mock gay wedding this past December. In addition, the youth wings of all eight political parties support the freedom to marry.