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World-wide interest in NZ same-sex marriage

Sun 18 Aug 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

World-wide interest in the availability of same-sex marriage, which becomes legal in New Zealand tomorrow, is growing with applications being downloaded from a number of overseas countries, particularly Australia. In addition, Registrar General Jeff Montgomery has been feilding interviews with media from as far afield as China and India. By late last week overseas same-sex couples had downloaded a total of 172 application forms. Nearly half came from Australia, but there has also been great overseas interest from the United States, Hong Kong, Britain, Singapore, Malaysia and even Russia. Around 1000 same-sex couples in Australia have expressed their interest and planning to travel to New Zealand to marry, according to the Australian Marriage Equality lobby group. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had announced in this week that he supports marriage equality. One of the first Australian couples to get marry in New Zealand are Trent Kandler and Paul McCarthy from Newcastle. They will wed at Te Papa on Monday morning, courtesy of Positively Wellington Tourism's "Make History" campaign, which offered an all-expenses-paid trip for a same-sex couple in the capital. The Kandler and Paul arrived in Wellington today getting ready for their big day tomorrow. The Department of Internal Affairs pointed out that there will be approximately 31 same sex couples across the country intended to get married tomorrow. The Births, Deaths and Marriages has received 31 notice of intended marriage forms for same sex couples in the main centres and Rotorua and will issue 31 marriage licenses, says Jeff Montgomery. "We’ve had 977 marriage forms downloaded from our website this week, three times as many as normal," says Montgomery. "125 are for civil union to marriage changes, 156 for couples applying from overseas in advance of arriving in New Zealand and 696 for couples resident or planning to be in New Zealand three days prior to their wedding," says Montgomery. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act enables couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The new definition in the Marriage Act will define marriage as "the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity".    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 18th August 2013 - 7:23pm

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