Video: New Zealand Parliament breaks into song as equal marriage bill is passed
As the Parliament of New Zealand passed a bill to allow equal marriage in the country, those in attendance of the reading broke into song, once it was announced that it had passed.
The video posted by the Parliamentary TV service, sees the speaker of the house announce the results of the reading, which saw 70 votes for and 44 against, before cheers from the crowd.
Someone in the public gallery then calls out, before an emotional pause, and the song Pokarekare Ana, a traditional love song, written in 1917, and considered by some an unofficial National Anthem.
The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill introduced equal marriage for all regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
It will now go for royal assent (a formality) before coming into effect within four months.
The tune of the song Pokarekare Ana is borrowed from the Irish Hymn to the Blessed Virgin, and the lyrics, roughly translated, include: “Oh my beloved, come back to me, my heart is breaking for of love for you,
“My poor pen is broken, my paper is spent, But my love for you endures, and remains forever more… Come back to me, I could die of love for you.”
New Zealand is the 13th country in the world to legalise equal marriage.
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It is legal in the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay.
New Zealand has become the second Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as its reigning constitutional monarch, to legalise equal marriage, as Canada legalised equal marriage in 2005.
Before today’s vote, New Zealand Labour MP Louisa Wall, who introduced the legislation, said that the time is right for change.
“Marginalising and discriminating against particular sectors do not benefit society and families,” she said.
“It is a simple choice; do we support discriminatory laws or not? I know I don’t and hopefully that is true of most of the members of this house.”
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