New Zealand: 926 same-sex couples marry in first year
Nearly 1000 same-sex couples have married in New Zealand since same-sex marriage came into effect a year ago.
According to statistics released today to mark the occasion, so far 926 couples from across the world have taken advantage of the law, with a large proportion being overseas couples.
Just 532 of the total were New Zealand-based couples, with the remainder coming from elsewhere to marry.
Nearly a quarter (237) of the couples were from Australia, where same-sex marriage is still illegal, despite multiple attempts to change the law.
The Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Jeff Montgomery said: “We are seeing continued national and international interest by same sex couples in getting married in New Zealand.
“Almost 400 overseas couples have come to New Zealand to get married, which is great for our tourism industry.
“There has been a drop in the number of same sex civil unions, to 20 per cent of the number before the law change took effect. A number of male/female couples continue to choose civil unions.
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“Overall, we are really pleased the implementation of the changes to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act has gone so well.”
In May this year, New Zealand slightly relaxed its ban on gay men giving blood, changing the deferral period from 5 years to 12 months following sexual activity.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott remains staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage, despite 72% of Australians supporting marriage equality .
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