First listen to March 15th 2013 to hear more about this bill.
A crowd of people queued to get into the public gallery in Parliament tonight to watch the final vote on the Marriage Amendment Bill. The bill passed with 77 votes to 44. The crowd in the gallery cheered and sang the National Anthem when they heard the result of the vote. Hundreds more people watched on closed-circuit TV in Parliament and on TV in bars.
New Zealand is now the 13th country in the world to allow people of the same sex to marry. It will be August before the law is changed though.
This was a conscience vote which means that MPs could vote the way they wanted to. It was a free vote. Usually, they vote the same way as their party. Conscience votes are only used for religious or moral issues such as the death penalty.
• queue (n or v) – a line, to stand in a line
• public gallery – members of the public can sit upstairs and watch MPs in Parliament
• Amendment – a change to a law
• National Anthem – God of Nations
• closed-circuit TV – by video in the same building
• conscience – your own idea of right and wrong
• moral – what you believe is right
• death penalty – death as a punishment for crime (This was abolished -stopped – in New Zealand in 1961.)
The Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English, said that at a time when marriage is not so popular, he thought it was that strange gay couples want to marry. Do you agree with his two opinions?