Same-sex marriage is a step closer to becoming a reality with Labour MP Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill passing its first select committee stage.
Her bill will now proceed to a second reading in Parliament next month where MPs will decide whether to continue its progress into law.
If it becomes law, it will allow two people to get married regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The select committee received 21,533 submissions in relation to the bill with 10,487 – just over half - supporting the bill and 8,148 opposing it.
Only 220 people turned up at the committee to present their submission.
Ms Wall, who is on the Government and Administration Select Committee, says the bill reaching its second reading is a milestone.
“This process has showed that that message has really resonated with New Zealanders and has been echoed overseas with the recent passage of similar legislation in the UK.
“We have seen a high level of engagement in the debate and I am looking forward to taking the Bill through to its second phase,” says Ms Wall.
During its first reading in Parliament, a majority of MPs voted in favour of the bill with 80 voting in favour and 40 voting against.
The second reading is expected on March 13.