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    Gay Marriage and property rights - 21-Jan-1996
    In a major development this week the Minister of Justice, Doug Graham, announced that de facto and same sex couples should have property rights - but not the same as married couples.
    Mr Graham said that he would ask the cabinet to consider legislation to protect the property rights of both de facto and same-sex couples. Any change in legislation however will most likely occur after this years general election.

    These changes have been prompted by a review of the Matrimonial Property Act, which covers married couples and determines that property should be split 50-50 upon separation.

    Labour associate women's affairs spokeswoman Judith Tizard said the move was welcome but said that the Labour party would have preferred a more comprehensive review.

    Ms Tizard went on to say that society could not have it both was by preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying and also refusing them property rights protection.

    Alliance Wellington Central candidate Danna Glendining said people should be able to marry whoever they wished.

    Saturday's New Zealand Herald editorial was luke warm to the proposal suggesting that the state had no role to play in deciding the property rights of couples without children. It may no comment on the issue of whether same sex couples should be allowed to marry.
    Ref: - QNA

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