Wow, this is just wild. From AP:
New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly cast a first vote in favor of a gay marriage bill that was given impetus by President Barack Obama’s public support of the issue.
The proposed changes can be directly traced to Obama’s declaration in May in support of gay marriage. That prompted center-right Prime Minister John Key to break his long silence on the issue by saying he was “not personally opposed” to the idea. Then lawmaker Louisa Wall, from the opposition Labour Party, put forward a bill she had previously drafted.
“If I’m really honest, I think the catalyst was around Obama’s announcement, and then obviously our prime minister came out very early in support, as did the leader of my party, David Shearer,” Wall told The Associated Press. “The timing was right.”
I’m seriously bowled over. I really do believe that words can matter. But for the President’s words to inspire a leader half a world away. I’m just in awe.