Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Measure Supporting Traditional Marriage Defeated in New Zealand

A marriage amendment bill stipulating that marriages may occur "only between one man and one woman" was defeated in a 73-47 vote in New Zealand 's Parliament. The Marriage Gender Clarification Amendment was presented by Gordon Copeland of the United Future Party. It was defeated at its first reading in early December. Chris Finlayson, a Catholic member of the National Party, said he supported marriage as a union between one man and one woman but called the proposed legislation ill-conceived. During a speech, he said there is "nothing to clarify because the law is clear." Finlayson said an appeals court ruling denying a same-sex marriage in New Zealand in the 1990s demonstrated that same-sex marriages are not permitted under the country's Marriage Act. He also noted that 2004 civil union legislation "further clarified the position." Copeland disagreed and said the defeat of his bill Dec. 7 leaves the door open to future legal challenges, citing court rulings in Canada, the United States and  South Africa that have extended marriages to include same-sex couples.  Source: For more information, please click here (last visited December 21, 2005, reo).

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