New Zealand is to launch its first same-sex marriage licensing scheme in an effort to make it the first country in the Western world to introduce the practice.
Key points:The move comes amid concerns about rising anti-LGBT sentiment in Australia and New ZealandThe new rules will come into force in August and can be changed at any timeSource: News LimitedAAP 3 A new national register of married same-gender couples will also be set up to keep track of couples’ social security and income records and allow them to get a stamp of approval from their local council.
It will be used to allow the government to identify people with special needs and to make sure those who are able to marry are not discriminated against.
It also will provide for more transparent record-keeping to allow more accurate information about who is and who is not a legal member of the opposite sex.
“It’s an important step in making sure that people are protected against discrimination in marriage,” New Zealand Chief Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.
“Our new registry will help ensure people are not being denied their equal right to marry because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The new registry is being developed by the Ministry of Social Development and Family, which is responsible for the Family Law Act, the marriage legislation.
The marriage legislation defines marriage as “the legal union of a man and a woman” and it allows same-seeming couples to be married in New Zealand if they are aged 16 or over.
There are currently no same-year marriages in New England.
It is estimated that about 30,000 same-sexual couples are registered with the Marriage Registration Authority in New South Wales, with about 7,000 people living in New York.
In Australia, there are more than 3,000 gay, lesbian and transgender people in the marriage registry, according to research by the University of Queensland.
The National Marriage Equality Network said New Zealand would be the first Western country to introduce a same-day marriage registration system, which would allow same-aged couples to marry at the same time and register in New Plymouth.
“It will mean couples will be able to make arrangements for weddings on a same day, rather than just a one-off occasion, and they will also have the opportunity to get the stamp of their approval from the local authority,” NME’s national president Alex Pappas said.
“This will enable them to be eligible for social security benefits, get the marriage certificate, and even be able get a marriage licence in their own right.”
Currently, couples need to be in a committed relationship to get married in Australia, which could cause them to lose their pension and employment benefits.
The new marriage registry will allow people to have their marriages registered and their marriage certificate issued without having to go through the traditional ceremony.
New Zealand has no legal recognition of same-male-female relationships and gay marriage is illegal in the country.
Under the proposed changes, same-same couples will need to register as “married” if they have a valid marriage certificate.
“Marriage is the union of two people, and that includes same-somosexual and opposite-sex couples,” a spokesman for Ms Arderns said.
Ms Ardernt said she hoped the new registry would provide certainty to people living with special health needs and that people would be able access marriage-related services.
“I know people will be surprised by how easy it will be to get these services if this is implemented in the same way as they would for anyone who is a single person,” she said.