Nearly a hundred Australian same-sex couples have resorted to travelling to New Zealand to get married since August.
47 female couples and 50 male couples have made the journey from Australia, since New Zealand’s equal marriage law came into effect in August.
361 same-sex couples in total have so far tied the knot in New Zealand, meaning that Australians alone make up over a quarter of the total.
Ten Chinese couples, four from Hong Kong, four from Britain and four from Thailand have also married in the country, as New Zealand does not restrict foreign couples from marrying there.
Australia does not formally recognise same-sex marriages entered into overseas, although some individual states and territories do recognise same-sex partnerships.
Australia is lagging behind its neighbour on the issue, as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot remains a staunch opponent of equal marriage despite overwhelming public support for it.
Last year, a survey found that over 1.000 Australian gay couples would consider marrying in New Zealand if Australia did not legalise same-sex marriage soon.
Same-sex marriage was briefly legalised in Australian Capital Territory last month, but Australia’s high court overturned the decision just five days later.
New Zealand’s Registrar-General Jeff Montgomery said: “We expect to continue to see a number of overseas same-sex couples choosing New Zealand for their weddings, particularly given recent Australian court decisions.”
A four year old girl recently wrote a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, asking him to “let boys marry boys and girls marry girls”
When the Parliament of New Zealand passed its same-sex marriage bill last April, those in attendance of the reading broke into song.
by Nick Duffy
Source – PinkNews