New Zealand has become the 13th country in the world to legalise same sex marriage but what does this mean for our cousins across the ditch?
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has made it very clear that New Zealand’s historic new same sex marriage legislation will not have any affect on her. When a gay marriage supporter questioned her about why Australia was falling behind New Zealand in marriage equality she responded, “I doubt we’re going to end up agreeing, I’m sorry.”
Last September Australian Parliament rejected a bill to legalise same sex marriage by 98 votes to 42, with opposition leader Tony Abbott refusing to allow his party a conscious vote. Gillard who is opposed to marriage equality says she has no doubt that the issue will come up again in the future.
Australian citizens are expected to flock to New Zealand to take advantage of our new marriage equality laws however their marriage will not be recognised when they return home.
Australian Green Party Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has said that as soon as possible she will be introducing a Bill in the Senate which would allow international same sex marriages to be recognised in Australia.
“They shouldn’t have to leave their marriage at the customs gate. Let’s recognise overseas marriage here in Australia,” she says.
| Sarah Murphy