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Thousands rally for and against civil unions in New Zealand

Thousands rally for and against civil unions in New Zealand

Thousands of activists marched to New Zealand's parliament on Monday, some protesting and others supporting proposed legislation that would give greater legal recognition to gay relationships. About 6,000 marchers from Destiny Church, whose denomination is conservative Protestant, caused traffic chaos in downtown Wellington, the capital, as they protested the proposed law change; some 2,000 gay rights campaigners met them at parliament. Police looked on as the two groups shouted at one another and then dispersed without incident. Members of the church group, dressed in black shirts, raised their fists and chanted "Enough is enough" as they marched. They were protesting a bill that was introduced for parliamentary debate in June and would grant "civil union" status to couples--both same-sex and heterosexual--who live together, giving them many of the same rights as married couples. Conservative critics have labeled it the "gay marriage bill," although it doesn't formally recognize same-sex marriages and differentiates between civil unions and marriage. The bill has enough support in parliament to be passed into law later this year.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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