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Ali Mau to marry if gay marriage bill passes

Published: 5:52AM Wednesday April 17, 2013 Source: ONE News

Seven Sharp presenter Alison Mau says she will tie the knot with her partner if the Marriage Equality Bill is passed tonight.

Politicians are expected to back gay marriage in a vote tonight, making New Zealand the 13th country to do so.

Hundreds of supporters have gathered at Parliament, as well as at parties around the country, to watch the vote live.

Asked on the TV ONE show this evening if she would get married if the Bill passes, Mau responded: "Yes, yes I will."

People have been queuing outside Parliament since 5pm to see the historic vote.

Representatives of France, Spain and the US are attending and international media are also covering the event.

Newlywed Lynda Topp is attending, along with the country's first transsexual MP Georgina Beyer.

Topp released a statement this morning saying she already sees herself as married.

"If someone had told me a few years ago that at 54 I would be married with two stepsons, I'd have laughed!

"But let's get one thing straight (if you'll excuse the pun), this is a marriage - not a civil union. That is how Donna and I see it."

She said she thinks "everybody should be able to stand up and say 'I'm getting married'."

"A Civil Union is demeaning... this idea that you will never be good enough, that your love is somehow less than or not as worthy.

"There's no romance to it. And today, I feel more romantic and more in love than I've ever felt in my life.

Our marriage is as honest, loyal and committed as anyone's and we should have the same rights as anyone else," she said.

Parties planned

Several Wellington bars in particular are showing Parliament proceedings on big screens, including at Scotty and Mal's Lounge Bar.

Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan who married his partner Scotty in Hawaii, because he could not do it in New Zealand, says they will be screening it live at the bar and there will be a "rocking party".

Kennedy-Vaughan says they want to reaffirm their vows in New Zealand if the bill passes.

And in Auckland the Auckland University Students' Association is hosting a party at the campus bar Shadows. Bars on Karangahape Road are also full of people wanting to watch the debate.

"We very much hope this will be a celebration of marriage equality finally being achieved in New Zealand," says Levi Joule the AUSA Queer rights Officer.

AUSA has been running several events this week leading up to the third reading, including a bake sale which was organised to raise funds for Queerspace.

"AUSA is proud to represent what we estimate to be thousands of LBGTI students. They deserve no less rights than what the heterosexual majority already have."

Australians plan NZ weddings

More than 1000 Australian same-sex couples say they will fly to New Zealand to get hitched if a bill to legalise gay marriage passes through Parliament.
Gay marriage advocate Rodney Croome says a survey by his organisation, Australian Marriage Equality, has found more than 1000 couples plan to travel to New Zealand to tie the knot.

The Kiwis would now get a slice of the estimated $700 million spent by Australian same-sex couples on their weddings, he said.

Most Australian same-sex partners would prefer to marry the person they love in the country they love, Croome said.

"But now that marriage equality is only three hours away there will be a flood of couples flying to New Zealand to tie the knot and spend their money," he said in a statement.

New Zealand was set to reap a massive economic dividend from the wedding spend of those Australian same-sex couples who were tired of their country's failure to act.

Last year, an attempt to legalise gay marriage failed in the Australian parliament, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard opposed to the move, and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott refusing coalition MPs a conscience vote.