New Zealand approves same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill
The New Zealand Parliament has approved a Bill introducing same-sex ‘marriage’ in a 77-44 vote.
The Bill, pushed by opposition Labour MP Louisa Wall, will also permit homosexual couples to adopt children.
It comes despite strong criticism from religious leaders and social groups, who argued that the move will undermine marriage and the family.
"Historically and culturally, marriage is about man and a woman, and it shouldn't be touched," said Bob McCoskrie, founder of lobby group Family First.
The group presented a petition to parliament signed by approximately 50,000 people calling for the traditional definition of marriage to be upheld. It has received 25,000 more signatures since.
The Bill, which amends the 1995 Marriage Act, was nevertheless passed by parliamentarians in a majority vote during its third and final reading this week.
The move is likely to place pressure for a change in the law in Australia, which rejected a bill proposing to legalise same-sex 'marriage' in September.