Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

Asia-pacific

First same-sex couples marry in New Zealand

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-19

New Zealand's first gay weddings took place on Monday after the nation became the 14th in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. Vows were exchanged in venues ranging from an airliner cruising at 30,000 feet to a historic bath house.

When Trent Kandler and Paul McCarthy decided to get engaged, they knew they would probably have to tie the knot outside their native Australia, where same-sex unions are not yet legal.

Two years later, wearing matching three-piece suits and pink ties, the couple marched down the isle at Wellington’s Te Papa national museum, 2,200 km (1,370 miles) from home, as a law to legalise gay marriage in New Zealand went into force on Monday.

“Our relationship is validated in front of our family and friends,” McCarthy told Radio New Zealand after the ceremony. “I’m a very proud man.”

Kandler and McCarthy were in the spotlight after winning a contest by the tourism board to invite a gay Australian couple to wed in New Zealand, the 13th country to allow homosexuals to marry. More than 300 Australian couples applied.

New Zealanders Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau were among about 30 same-sex couples to say “I do” on Monday, exchanging vows on board an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland from the ski resort town of Queenstown on the country’s South Island.

“To be married at 30,000 feet beneath strings of fairy lights with our children, friends and family as witnesses makes an already memorable day that much more special,” Bendall said after an in-flight ceremony with a choir serenading the newlyweds with a traditional Maori love song.

New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs said late last week that roughly 1,000 marriage applications were downloaded in the week since same-sex applications became available, around three times the average number.

Around 170 were from overseas, mainly from Australia but also from Hong Kong, Russia and the United States.

“We're being viewed as equal"

McCarthy said many of his friends in Australia were looking to travel to New Zealand to marry, given its proximity and shared culture and customs, even though their unions would not be recognised back home.

“Being able to marry here as an equal citizen, even though we’re not citizens of this country, means we’re being viewed as equal - and that’s all we really want,” he told Reuters.

The government of New Zealand, a tiny country of 4.4 million people predominantly of British and Christian heritage, in April passed the Marriage Amendment Act that enables couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

Established Christian churches were uneasy about the new law, with Roman Catholics opposed outright and Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists split.

In Australia, opinion polls show widespread support for gay marriage but recent attempts to change the law have stalled.

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard opposed gay marriage, but new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd supports it. Rudd will allow a parliamentary vote if he wins the Sept. 7 elections, although the proposal is unlikely to pass.

Tourism New Zealand said it had seen a rise in the number of Australians interested in visiting since the marriage law was passed in April. Australia is already New Zealand’s biggest inbound tourism market, accounting for around 17 percent of the $7.8 billion industry.

The legalisation of gay marriage adds another notch to New Zealand’s liberal record. It was the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in 1893 and it has declared itself to be nuclear-free since 1984.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-08-19

  • HAITI

    Gay couple attacked during engagement ceremony in Haiti

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Rainbow Eiffel Tower angers gay marriage critics

    Read more

  • USA

    Plaintiffs in California gay marriage case tie the knot

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)