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Gay New Zealand

Gay New Zealand
New Zealand has in recent years become a broadly gay-friendly place, defying the odds in what has always been perceived as a fairly macho country. Certainly there remains an undercurrent of redneck intolerance, particularly in rural areas, but it generally stays well below the surface.
All this has partly come about in response to New Zealand's admirable recent history of resistance to anti-gay bigotry. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1986 and the age of consent was set at sixteen (the same as for heterosexuals). The human rights section of the legislation , making it illegal to discriminate against gays and people with HIV or AIDS, was passed in 1993, with none of the usual exceptions made for the military or the police. There are officially no restrictions on people with HIV or AIDS entering the country .
Such is the mainstream acceptance that the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is quite upfront about one of its most prominent composers, Gareth Farr, doubling as a drag queen - though not mid-concert.
New Zealand has just granted civil union rights to any couples, which allows same sex couples to be viewed   as a married couple would be.

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