April 16, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
New Zealand same-sex marriage bill expected to receive final approval
New Zealand, parliament, gay news, Washington Blade

Parliament building in New Zealand (Photo by Midnighttonight via Wikimedia Commons)

New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday are expected to give final approval to a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to marry in the country.

The country’s Parliament on March 13 approved the same-sex marriage measure introduced by lesbian Parliamentarian Louisa Wall by a 77-44 vote margin in the second of three votes on the proposal. Prime Minister John Key is among those who support the measure.

The vote will take place less than a week after French and Uruguayan lawmakers approved same-sex marriage bills in their respective countries. A commission charged with reforming the Irish constitution on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a recommendation that urges the country’s government to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

Jackie Russell-Green of the New Zealand Campaign for Marriage Equality told the Washington Blade last month same-sex marriage supporters “need to be resolute” leading up the measure’s third and final reading.

“There will be no celebration until the bill passes,” she said.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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