New Zealand ready to cel­e­brate change

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

law has meant they (in­ter­na­tional web­sites ad­ver­tis­ing gay mar­riage ser­vices) are re­ally ea­ger to tap into New Zealand. ‘‘It’s an an­gle of op­por­tu­nity I am happy with,’’ she said. How­ever, the re­treat was not only for the gay fra­ter­nity but for all cou­ples, she said. The site’s Pur­ple Unions Wed­ding Ven­dor Directory also helps gay cou­ples find cel­e­brants, wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers and plan­ners. Vin­cent Com­mu­nity Board chair­woman and Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil­lor Clair Hig­gin­son said the law change bet­ter re­flected the di­ver­sity of re­la­tion­ships of peo­ple who loved each other in New Zealand. Ms Hig­gin­son, who in 2008 had a civil union cer­e­mony with her part­ner Kay Cham­ber­lain, be­lieved sev­eral cel­e­brants and venues in Cen­tral Otago that con­duct civil union cer­e­monies would fol­low suit and of­fer same-sex mar­riages. Mean­while, Queen­stown Gay Ski Week will run from Au­gust 31 un­til Septem­ber 7. Event or­gan­iser Sally White­woods said the event’s largest fol­low­ers were from Aus­tralia, with at least 60 per cent of last year’s par­tic­i­pants from across the ditch. With same-sex mar­riage not per­mit­ted un­der Aus­tralian fed­eral law there was ‘‘no ques­tion’’ that peo­ple would be look­ing for places they could tie the knot. A wed­ding page would soon be added to the ski week’s web­site to help any­one who wanted to get mar­ried in the area.

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