Gerry-KandelaarsA South Australian politician has congratulated New Zealand on legalising same-sex marriage.

Labor Legislative Council member Gerry Kandelaars put a motion in the state’s Upper House formally congratulating New Zealand’s Parliament for legalising same-sex marriage in April. The motion was passed by 11 votes to 10.

Kandelaars was elevated to South Australia’s Legislative Council in 2011 to replace outgoing Labor MLC Paul Holloway. He used his maiden speech in Parliament to describe the “anguish the current laws that prohibit gay marriage” caused him as the father of a gay daughter.

“Australians need to truly accept that homosexuality is a reality and that homosexual couples should be able to have their relationship and their love recognised under our secular law, just as heterosexual couples can,” Kandelaars said.

He has also previously spoken out on changing state law to allow lesbian couples and single women to access IVF treatment.

“In my view, parenting is not about gender but about your commitment and devotion to your children and about the love you have for them and about what is in your heart.”

While the motion is not binding, the outcome could help clarify how South Australia’s Parliament will vote on a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the state later in the year.

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