Marriage bills move forward in Australia and New Zealand

Bills to legalize same-sex marriage have passed their first votes in the New Zealand Parliament and the Australian state Tasmanian Parliament

Marriage bills move forward in Australia and New Zealand
30 August 2012

Bills to legalize same-sex marriage have been successful in their first votes in both the Tasmanian and New Zealand parliaments, with Tasmania also voting to legalize surrogacy arrangements and New Zealand set to vote on a bill to legalize adoption by same-sex couples.

A same-sex marriage bill passed in a vote of 80-40 in the New Zealand Parliament and will now be examined by a select committee before returning for another vote.

MPs from all of New Zealand political parties except the anti-immigration New Zealand First party voted for the bill.

Only two members of the opposition New Zealand Labor Party voted against the bill and 29 MPs from the ruling New Zealand National Party.

The news comes alongside an announcement that the New Zealand Parliament will soon debate a bill allowing couples in same-sex civil unions to adopt children.

Currently only heterosexual married or de facto couples and single people regardless of sexuality can adopt in New Zealand.

The adoption bill by NZ Labour’s Jacinda Ardern will mean gays and lesbians will be able to co-adopt their partners’ children or adopt as couples.

Later in the day the Australian state of Tasmania passed legislation to regulate surrogacy arrangements and held its first vote on a marriage equality bill.

Under the new rules, a surrogate must be over 25 years and must have had children of her own before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.

The move will benefit both infertile heterosexuals and same-sex couples and its passing bodes well for the eventual success of the same-sex marriage bill in the Tasmanian Upper House, which was passed in the Lower House around 7pm Sydney time.

Tasmanian opposition leader Will Hodgman spoke against the bill and most of his fellow Liberal MPs absented themselves from the chamber during debate, but the bill passed 13-11 all the same.

During debate on the bill Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings said her state had an opportunity ‘to lead the nation.’

‘At the core of this debate is the belief that we are all equal before the law, and where the law prejudices one person over another change is required.’



No thumbnail available

Lady Gaga sings updated national anthem at Gay Pride

'Born This Way' singer made a surprise comeback at New York City gay equality rally
No thumbnail available

Clay Aiken blasts ex-gay reparative therapy

'I know I was born gay. I didn't make a choice to be gay'
No thumbnail available

Transgender Pakistani stands for election

Shahana Abbas Shani standing for regional elections to take on problems faced by hijras
No thumbnail available

With marriage now legal, same-sex couple adopt children in Oklahoma

The women, who married in November and adopted two young boys in December, are believed to the first same-sex couple to legally adopt in the state
No thumbnail available

England and Wales gay marriage bill could be delayed up to two years

Tory party in-fighting and an amendment giving straight couples civil partnerships could delay the equal marriage bill until after the next election
No thumbnail available

UK infant schools praised for teaching trans kids to 'express themselves'

Ofsted report welcomed by transgender activist, who applauds schools for allowing children to 'explore gender freely'
No thumbnail available

Gay Olympian Matthew Mitcham will not retire from diving

The Olympic champion is planning to be a springboard diver and wants his 'thighs as big as [China's] He Chong's' for Rio 2016
No thumbnail available

Tasmanian opposition leader stands against gay marriage

Liberal leader of the opposition in Tasmania will not allow his MPs a conscience vote on gay marriage
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres crashes Twitter with all-star selfie during Oscars telecast

Photo also includes Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Jared Leto, among others
No thumbnail available

Omar Sharif's openly gay grandson speaks out about the movie icon having Alzheimer's Disease

'It has yet to diminish his passion for life, love, family or art'