Legal Information 


The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act came into force on 19 August 2013.

Summary of changes within the Amendment Act:

HUNDREDS of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand's Parliament as the country become the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex marriage. Lawmakers voted 77 to 44 in favour of the gay-marriage bill on its third and final reading.
  • The Amendment Act specifies that a marriage is between two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
  • As a result of this change, it is expected that same-sex married couples will be eligible, under the Adoption Act 1955, to apply jointly to adopt a child.
  • The Amendment Act clarifies that no marriage celebrant of a religious body or an approved organisation is obliged to solemnize a marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.
  • The Amendment Act enables transgender people to continue to be married regardless of their gender identity.

Note: A marriage licence is not issued before the 3rd day after the day notice was given. Similarly, a Registry Office marriage could not occur before the 3rd day after the day notice was given.

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