A leading American gay rights activist says he is confident New Zealand will legalise same sex marriage soon.
Evan Wolfson, who was once voted in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year, was a guest speaker at a gay rights seminar in Wellington today.
The US attorney said he was confident New Zealand would become the 15th country in the world to legalise same sex marriage.
"I think New Zealand, having taken important steps to acknowledging and recognising their needs for protection, now needs to take the next step to treat all families with respect and equality under the law."
Wolfson was instrumental in bringing gay marriage to the forefront of American politics. Six states in the US now recognise same sex marriages.
The call comes after Labour MP Louisa Wall's "marriage equality" bill was plucked from a ballot of more than 60. The bill would allow all New Zealanders to marry regardless of their sexual orientation and is likely to be subject to a conscience vote.
"This bill is based on the premise that everyone should have equal opportunity to recognise their relationship within the social and legal institution of marriage," Wall said yesterday.
The bill needs support from 61 MPs to pass, with 42 currently known to be supporting it.
Wolfson said the only way the bill would pass through Parliament was if the New Zealand public banded together.