New Zealand Legalizes Loving Families
NEWS 10/06/2039 2:03 PM ET
New Zealand Legalizes Loving Families
by Blake DuFortt

CC BY-SA 3.0 "Bowen House, the Beehive and Parliament, New Zealand" by Midnighttonight | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Untitled by tookapic | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only. Image changes released under the same license as the original.
New Zealand Parliament, Wellington.
New Zealand has become the first nation in the world to legalize loving families.

Titled the Familial Relationship Act 2017, the law was signed by New Zealand's Governor-General yesterday afternoon at Government House Wellington. The Governor-General is the King's formal representative in New Zealand.

The Bill passed its third and final reading stage 81 votes to 39.

New Zealand Prime Minister Tane Aperahama issued a statement yesterday praising the outcome:

"Parliament has today voted for rights. The right to love is a symbolic and sacred right which we must cherish and respect, no matter our differences of opinion. Some will not view this outcome favorably, but New Zealand must be and will be and is a place where the right to love is upheld."

Other figures belonging to the government were effusive in their support.

"This is an absolutely fantastic day," Labour Party spokeswoman Christina Rankin said when speaking to New Zealand media yesterday evening.

"What Parliament has voted for is freedom, the freedom to exercise love across a spectrum, a love without a limit, even if the person you love is a close family member. I've personally had people come up to me and thank us for getting it right at last."

It is estimated that 49,000 New Zealanders are in a loving family arrangement, accounting for less than 1% of New Zealand's 5.1 million people.

The Familial Relationship Act 2017 also provides for the release of prisoners convicted of incest and the expungement of their criminal records, provided that their partners were over the age of 16. The Act does not alter the age of consent in New Zealand.

Labour Member of Parliament for Kelston Gareth Richardson introduced the legislation in February this year to rousing support from his party colleagues. However, upon the first reading of the Bill 20 of 28 conservative National Party members staged a symbolic walkout in protest.

"It's a disgrace, an absolute disgrace...I mean, what's next? Animals? Kids? What they've done...they don't know what they've done," National Party MP Michael Trenton said last night to New Zealand current affairs TV show The Project.

Approximately, 1,000 people rallied in support of the Act in front of Government House. The crowd celebrated upon being told that the law had been signed.

The legislative bodies of Spain, Iceland, and Belgium are currently considering similar legislation.
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