SNP MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed the news that New Zealand’s parliament have voted in favour of equal marriage, becoming the thirteenth country in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region.
Lawmakers in Auckland backed equal marriage by 77 to 44, making it now legal for same-sex couples to wed in the country.
Commenting, MEP Alyn who is Honorary President of LGBT Youth Scotland said:
“A huge congratulations goes from Scotland to our friends in New Zealand
“Every country’s debate on equal marriage is different but it is clear that the progressive world is moving in the same direction and I don’t think it will be too long before our nation joins with those other thirteen.
“Marriage is, for me, about two people who love each other and I’m delighted that New Zealand’s politicians have voted on the same basis. While I will not myself have a vote on the legislation when it comes before the Scottish Parliament, I have faith in the good sense of our MSPs to decide, as our representatives, what sort of arrangements we want to live by.
“I also have confidence that a sufficient accommodation can be granted to those faith groups unable to endorse society's norms that they will feel confident they will not be forced to. Equally, while faith groups clearly have a place in our public discourse, it is for us as a society of all faiths and none to decide how we live."