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The Legalise Love campaign was launched in August 2011 to promote legal marriage and adoption equality in New Zealand, and a protest was organised at the New Zealand Parliament Buildings in October that year.In December 2012, former Governor-General Catherine Tizard starred in an online video campaign organised by the Campaign for Marriage Equality supporting same-sex marriage, alongside New Zealand singers Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith, as well as Olympian Danyon Loader.I don't think that gay marriage is a threat to anyone else's marriage." English voted against the Civil Union Act 2004 and the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, and in favour of the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill 2005.In the year after 19 August 2013 (when the law became operational), 926 same-sex marriages were registered in New Zealand, of which 520 were between female couples and 406 were between male couples.The Parliament of New Zealand can enact marriage laws only in regard to New Zealand proper and the Ross Dependency (Antarctica).
In 2016, 954 same-sex marriages and same-sex civil unions were performed in New Zealand.The Government in response cited section 5 (Justified limitations) of the Bill of Rights Act, which allows rights and freedoms in the Bill of Rights to "be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society".In its decision, the High Court sided with the Government and common law and reiterated that marriage is between one man and one woman.The High Court decision was appealed to the Court of Appeal (then New Zealand's highest court) in December 1997, which upheld the ruling.
On 30 November 1998, two couples involved in Quilter v Attorney-General sued New Zealand before the United Nations Human Rights Committee claiming that the country's ban on same-sex marriage violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 2005, United Future Member of Parliament (MP) Gordon Copeland sponsored the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill that would have amended the Marriage Act to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, and amend anti-discrimination protections in the Bill of Rights related to marital and family status so that the bill could stand.
The bill received a Section 7 report for being inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, specifically freedom from discrimination relating to sexual orientation.