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New Zealand has had equal marriage for two years and the world still hasn’t ended

Nick Duffy August 19, 2015

Same-sex marriage has been legal in New Zealand for two years – and the world still hasn’t ended.

New Zealand’s first same-sex weddings took place on August 18 2013 – paving the way for hundreds of couples to tie the knot.

Despite the country’s small population, it has since become a hub for couples from around the world – with a large proportion coming from Australia.

In 2013, 209 same-sex couples who are New Zealand residents married in the country, and 146 from overseas.

In the year to December 2014, a further 486 New Zealand-based couples and 391 couples from overseas tied the knot – bringing the total to 1232 so far, excluding those who converted from a civil union to a marriage.

Tellingly, while civil unions are still available, the number of couples opting for a union instead of a marriage have nearly entirely collapsed – from 303 in 2012, to just 51 in 2014.

Despite equality coming to New Zealand two years ago, its closest neighbour Australia is still lagging on the issue. Australian PM Tony Abbott has threatened to sack any ministers who vote for equality.

MPs in the country broke into song when the same-sex marriage bill was passed back in 2013.

They sung the song  Pokarekare Ana – often considered an unofficial national anthem.

The tune of the song 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.”

More: New Zealand

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