Marriage redefinition passes in New Zealand despite widespread disapproval


With Wednesday's vote in the New Zealand Parliament, the island nation becomes the first Asia-Pacific country to redefine marriage. Opponents of the bill renewed calls for a referendum.

MP Winston Peters told the Telegraph, "Some say there is a groundswell for change, but how do we know that? New Zealand is supposed to be a democracy and what we are about to do is circumvent any expression of public opinion."

Another opponent of the bill, MP Jonathan Young, made a similar appeal: "History has invested significant tradition in marriage and I believe we  should maintain that tradition," he said. "The issue isn't as clear as some people think, many are struggling with it and the community is more divided than this parliament."

Although the bill Wednesday officially redefined marriage in New Zealand's law, it is unclear how long it will be before the first same-sex couples are licensed to wed.