May 112012
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has joined US President Barack Obama in declaring that he is ”not personally opposed” to same-sex marriage.

Mr Key issued a statement on the issue after the US President said in a television interview that he believed gay couples should be allowed to marry.

While Mr Key said he had no personal objection to gay marriage, he said change was not on his government’s agenda.

New Zealand currently allows same-sex civil unions, but there is a push for marriage equality.

New Zealand Labour leader David Shearers said he supported same-sex marriage ”in principle” but would want to see the details of any proposed change before backing it.

Both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott oppose gay marriage.

Ms Gillard, who isn’t likely to face Australian voters until late next year, reaffirmed her position yesterday. ”I’ve made my position clear and that’s the position I’ll take into the Parliament,” she told ABC Radio.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Rodney Croome said Australia was the only developed, English-speaking democracy in which the leaders of both major parties opposed gay marriage. ”Australia’s national leaders are completely out of step with their counterparts,” Mr Croome said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Opposition Leader Ed Miliband support gay marriage, as does Ireland’s opposition Republican party. Canada has allowed same-sex marriage since 2005.