New law splits ranks of marriage celebrants

NZ Herald 1 March 2014
Same-sex weddings have split the ranks of marriage celebrants.

Some celebrants have stepped down in opposition to same-sex marriage, although they are outnumbered by those signing up to marry gay couples.

New figures from Internal Affairs also show there are now hundreds more independent marriage celebrants – and hundreds fewer celebrants linked to churches and religious organisations – since a law creating marriage equality came into force in August last year.

The law change has prompted the resignation of a small number of celebrants, including Family First national director Bob McCoskrie, who has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage.

But it has also attracted new celebrants keen to preside over same-sex weddings.

The Internal Affairs figures show the overall number of celebrants dropped by about 300 between February and June last year – a period that included the law being passed in April. However, the number of celebrants has since bounced back to near February 2013 levels.

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