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New Zealand: More Than 2100 Same-sex Marriages in Three Years
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of August 23, 2016) Based on official statistics from New Zealand, 2118 same-sex couples have married since gay marriage was legalized on August 19, 2013. Of that number, 970 couples have travelled to New Zealand specifically to get married there.
The law on same-sex marriage was passed on April 17, 2013 and became effective on August 19, 2013. Besides their other annual studies, “Statistic New Zealand” drew a balance on same-sex marriage after these three years.
Louisa Wall, deputy of the workers’ party and author of the legislative project on gay marriage, had largely underestimated the number of couples coming to New Zealand to marry and spend their honeymoon there. The couples from abroad “spend about 30,000 dollars [19,000 euros] on average for their wedding celebrations, and some even come back for their wedding anniversaries,” she says happily.
The only problem concerns divorce: For a divorce, at least one of the two partners has to reside in New Zealand.
Queer Eye Weddings, a wedding agency founded in September 2013, states that about half of the customers come from neighboring Australia, where gay marriage is still illegal.
Rawa Karetai, president of Rainbow Wellington, emphasizes that thanks to gay marriage, child adoption by same-sex couples has become a lot easier.
Since legalization of gay marriage, registered partnerships have been used much more by straight couples, and the number of same-sex registered partnerships decreased by 90%.
Statistic New Zealand counted 438 same-sex marriages and partnerships in 2015, which is comes to 17.7% of the total number. Almost half of the gay and lesbian couples that were married or become registered partners live abroad.
Currently, no numbers are available for divorces by same-sex couples.
Of all straight marriages contracted since 1990, about 36% have been divorced since. It will be interesting to see which trends same-sex couples will show over the coming years and decades.