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New Zealand Approves Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

April 17th, 2013

The New Zealand Parliament passed a bill granting marriage equality by a vote of 77-44. The vote tally was the same for the third reading as it was for the second, although two MP’s swapped votes. Despite pleas from the acting speaker for order in the House before announcing the tally, visitors in the gallery broke out in spontaneous singing of “Pokarekare Ana,” a traditional Maori love song. Watch:

Before the house took its vote, MP Maurice Williamson (National-Pakuranga) gave this rousing speech supporting the bill:

Green MP Kevin Hague told reporters that he expected Australians to travel to New Zealand to get married. “Hopefully it will push the Aussies into doing something.” New Zealand becomes the thirteenth country to provide marriage equality for same-sex partners. France is expected to complete its passage of a same-sex marriage bill next week. The countries which currently provide marriage equality are:

  1. Netherlands (2001)
  2. Belgium (2003)
  3. Spain (2005)
  4. Canada (2005)
  5. South Africa (2006)
  6. Norway (2009)
  7. Sweden (2009)
  8. Portugal (2010)
  9. Iceland (2010)
  10. Argentina (2010)
  11. Denmark (2012)
  12. Uruguay (2013)
  13. New Zealand (2013)

Same-sex marriage is also legal in parts of Brazil, Mexico, and in nine U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and three Native American tribes.



April 17th, 2013 | LINK

Also worth watching:

Rob Tisinai
April 17th, 2013 | LINK

I love these videos!

April 17th, 2013 | LINK

That first video was very moving. God love the Kiwis!!! As for the second, it was great and I saw on another blog that the party Williamson is a member of is supposedly NZ’s “rightwing” party! If that’s true than I’m simply stunned. We desperately need “right-wingers” like him in the USA!

April 17th, 2013 | LINK

I don’t understand a single word of the Maori language but I understood that song perfectly!

J. Peron
April 17th, 2013 | LINK

The song was not spontaneous as the speaker of the house announced it about 20 seconds into the final vote count, before the vote was announced. He reminded people that there will be a waiata following the vote. Waiata is Maori for song. The song was Pokarekare Ana and the English is:

They are agitated
the waters of Waiapu,
But when you cross over girl
they will be calm.

Oh girl
return to me,
I could die
of love for you.

I have written my letter
I have sent my ring,
so that your people can see
that I am troubled.

My pen is shattered,
I have no more paper
But my love
is still steadfast.

My love will never
be dried by the sun,
It will be forever moistened
by my tears.

April 18th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks for the translation, J. Peron, and the procedural note. I felt certain the song was planned, at least among the people in the gallery.

In the US, this kind of single event will not happen because of our state-by-state marriage laws. But I have been wondering what patriotic song we would sing if we could.

I nominate “This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land.” One of several unofficial anthems in the US.

April 18th, 2013 | LINK


“Lift Every Voice and Sing”? I know that might offend some of the anti-equality forces among African-Americans, but it *is* the anthem of Civil Rights (and also just straight-up beautiful).

April 18th, 2013 | LINK

…um, no pun intended with the “straight-up.” >_<

April 18th, 2013 | LINK

@MCB. A good choice, and I agree it is forthrightly beautiful. Verse one is especially applicable to LGBT equality.

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