New Zealand Following Uruguay Just Ahead of France on Marriage Equality

A New Zealand bill that would legalize same-sex marriage is due to receive its third and final reading on April 17. NZTV reported, “The bill passed its committee stages with 77 votes to 43 last month and little change was anticipated for the final vote.”

The bill is sponsored by lesbian lawmaker Louisa Wall. Last month, the Advocate reported that Wall frames the legislation as a means of ensuring that government’s interactions with its citizens are egalitarian.

“The role of the state in marriage is to issue a license to two people who love each other and want to commit to one another formally,” she said. “That's what this bill does.”

If the measure passes, New Zealand will become the 13th country to approve same-sex marriage. Earlier this month, Uruguay’s Congress voted in favor of marriage equality as well. That decision is pending approval by the nation’s president, José Mujica, the Guardian reports. And France is expected to become number 14 after a final vote by the National Assembly on April 23.