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Gay marriage debate 'good'

Monday 19 Nov 2012 8:23 a.m.

By 3 News online staff

As New Zealand's marriage equality bill makes its way through Parliament, one of the MPs who helped make The Netherlands the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage has arrived in the country.

Boris Dittrich now advocates internationally for gay rights on behalf of the organisation Human Rights Watch.

His visit's supported by Labour MP Louisa Wall, and Green Party MP Jan Logie.

“It was really a struggle [to legalise gay marriage], I started the discussions in 1994 and usually people said ‘why would we want to have gay marriage’… over the years of discussions in parliament and outside parliament people got used to the idea and in 2001 the same sex marriage bill was implemented and the funny thing is that a lot of the opponents at the time changed their minds,” he told Firstline this morning.

Mr Dittrich says around 90 percent of the Dutch population now supports gay marriage.

He believes debating the issue is goo.

“Usually in countries where marriage equality has been put on the table and the political agenda you see that there is a lot of fear,” he says.

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