NZ parliament erupts in song after passing marriage equality bill

On Wednesday's, New Zealand's parliament passed its Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill in a 77-44 vote, expanding the country's 2005 civil union regime into full-blown marriage equality. Observers in the gallery and MPs on the floor burst into song, a stirring rendition of "Pokarekare Ana," an NZ lovesong that dates back to WWI. What a lovely, lovely moment.

New Zealand House of Reps bursts into song after legalizing same-sex marriage (via Making Light)


  1. I was SO hoping that the song would be “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” or “YMCA” or some other awesome LGBT anthem!

    1.  I dunno.  I think an “anthem” wouldn’t have been nearly as poignant as a simple song about love is. 

  2. I can’t get over the feeling that, within my lifetime, same-sex couples in much of the world will not only be allowed to marry, but most people will wonder why it was ever so controversial in the first place.

    1. In a generation, same-sex marriage will be like women’s suffrage: anyone who’s against it will be instantly dismissed as a crank.

        1.  True.  And there are anti-suffragists lurking in the weeds too.  They’re still cranks.

        1. “gender-equality is far from solved”

           I agree!  But women’s suffrage is only a part of the larger issue of gender equality.  And I believe that it’s a settled issue in most (but not all) of the world.  Other parts of gender equality, like pay equity, are (as you say) far from solved.

  3. New Zealand, you have the coolest parliament! I think the last time the House of Commons burst into spontaneous song was during the Thatcher era, when the opposition started singing ‘The Red Flag’ to wind up the government benches. (Or did I dream that?)

  4. To be fair it wasn’t quite spontaneous – the speaker announced that there would be a waiata 

    It’s become common in NZ for formal  (staid) western style traditional moments to be interrupted by a  waiata or haka – for example by the whānau of a loved one when he/she has a degree conferred – everything just stops, then starts up again – it’s a great merging of Māori and pākehā culture

    1. Interesting… that adds to the power of the moment rather than detracts from it, that the speaker officially took the time to allow the moment to be recognized. Try to imagine Boehner in a moment like that..

    2.  I could tell it was not spontaneous and your explanation bring the magic back to the moment. Thanks.

    3.  What a beautiful tradition! I had to go look up ‘waiata’ when the speaker announced it, but finding out it was not spontaneous does nothing to diminish the moment.

  5. this made me weep. so beautiful.
    that being said, i try to imagine the same sort of thing happening in the U.S. in washington, and i just can’t picture it. i know the change is coming, and it’s coming faster than i ever expected in my lifetime, but still — i can’t see our elected officials bursting into a welcoming love song after passing a national gay marriage law.

    1.  I know but I can’t wait for the YouTube footage of some wacko right winger rolling around and throwing a temper tantrum on the Senate floor after they vote to repeal DOMA and make marriage equality the rule of the land.

      1. If the worst they do is throw a temper tantrum I’ll be fine with that. In fact for many people I’d say that if they limited themselves to a temper tantrum that would be progress.

      2. I sincerely hope it’s the same person who launched the cigarette and booze filled tirade after Obama was elected again.

  6. Did you notice that there appeared to be less than 44 bigots sitting around after the vote was announced.

    1. no – because I count 22 proxy votes on the nays tally sheet – 22 of the bigots were too ashamed to actually show up

  7. That was beautiful.

    Lyrics translation:

    Stormy are the waters
    Of restless Waiapu
    If you cross them, girl
    They will be calmed
    Oh girl
    Come back to me
    I could die
    Of love for you
    I write you my letter
    I send you my ring
    So your people can see
    How troubled I am
    Oh girl
    Come back to me
    I could die
    Of love for you
    Oh girl
    Come back to me
    I could die
    Of love for you
    I could die
    Of love (for you).

  8. I know I have heard this song 100 times before, but I’m not sure where…

    Those people who voted “No” must be really uncomfortable right at this moment. You can probably identify them as the ones who didn’t clap at the start lol

    1. They’re probably still sitting there today, arms folded, faces screwed up in a righteous frown.

    2. I recognized the tune too, from the Irish Mass in Ireland, when I was younger. “Ave Maria, Mo Ghrá Ave” uses the same melody. According to this – – the hymn dates from the 1970s.

  9. This is doing the fb rounds at the moment, but if you haven’t seen it already it’s worth 4 minutes of your life.

    The Honorable Maurice Williamson MP speaks at the third reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill:

    1. And he’s one of our right wing politicians

      Mind you he’s the same guy who just last week started to talk about banning 3D printers because “household 3D printers could be used to manufacture drugs and weapons”

      “If people could print off … sheets of Ecstasy tablets at the party they’re at at that time, that just completely takes away our border protection role in its known sense.”

    2. Came to post this…. I wish our parliamentarians were this funny (and courageous). Sadly the coalition here in Australia (Libs & Nationals) won’t be allowed a conscience vote by their dear catholic leader Abbott.

      Political stance aside I have to say that I have a serious disrespect for anyone who could vote for a misogynistic, conservative, hate-mongering, narrow-minded retard like Abbott. This includes my family and colleagues. I seriously think you’d have to be blind and stupid not to realise that the guy is an incompetent. Party politics should go out the window when the leader is so fucking shit.

  10. Here in the UK, that would never happen.
    Because here in the UK, we don’t have a parliament, we have a bunch of mindless bullying children.

    Well done, NZ. Well done.

  11. And for the record – the very last box has been checked – the bill has been signed (fittingly) by our deputy Queen – it is now law – the marrying will begin in 4 months (when they’ve changed all the forms)

    1. I hooted at “deputy Queen” – I am going to start calling our Governor-General that (in Aust) :D
      Well played, Taniwha, and thankyou for the commentary.

    1. I once heard a New Zealander asked what the difference was between his country and Australia. He said, “We have a history we can be proud of.”

      And that continues.

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