Yet another country in the world is proving that there is hope for the human race to move beyond its stifling, superstitious past and into a future where all people are possessed of the same rights and privileges. This time around it’s New Zealand, who recently passed the Marriage Amendment Bill through one of its three needed votes to become law. This bill officially recognizes same-sex marriages as legal, moving the status of gay couples to more than that of a civil union.
There are still two more votes to go, but the bill is expected to see little resistance, especially considering the popularity of the first decision. It will be several months before the other two votes as the government waits for the public to weight in with their opinion. Statistics show that two-thirds of the population of New Zealand is in support of gay marriage rights, so it seems as if it’s only a matter of time.
Still, there always has to be a little bit of opposition, and where else to find it but in the religious right? Conservative “family-oriented” organizations are circulating a petition against the bill, claiming that civil unions are good enough and that marriage laws are not needed since same-sex couples can’t have children. This is justified by the statement that marriage was meant to facilitate procreation, a truly antiquated view if I ever heard one.
No doubt they are even further enraged by the full effects that the Marriage Amendment Bill would have. This law would, in addition to legalizing marriage between same-sex couples, also give them the ability to adopt a child if they so wished. Could that be considered procreation in a way?
Once the bill is passed, New Zealand will be the 12th country to recognize same-sex marriage on a federal level. This passes up the United States, where recognition is only sparsely made on a state level, though apparently the U.S. had a big part in the change in New Zealand. The Prime Minister of the country stated that it was President Obama’s public declaration of support for same-sex marriage that prompted him to approach the issue and make his own voice known, thus pushing the bill forward.
New Zealand may be a small country, but it’s still a huge victory for the LGBT community and families everywhere. I pre-applaud New Zealand and its people for leaving discrimination in the past and pushing on into a more tolerant future.