Watch: New Zealand parliament has voted to make same-sex marriage legal.Those in the public gallery broke into applause and cheered as it was announced the vote passed with 77 votes to 44. They then broke into song.
New Zealand became the 13th nation in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize gay marriage after the country’s Parliament approved a bill Monday, voting 77–44. Cheers erupted in the hall as the votes were counted after two hours of debate, which featured one legislator talking about her daughter’s first formal with her girlfriend. “Like countless other young women, she hopes for love, marriage, children and a house with a white picket fence,” Mojo Mathers said to applause. One M.P. who voted against the bill said he had become more open to gay marriage since being elected, but added that “our society is probably more divided than this House is on this issue.”
Same-sex marriage is now legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay.
Same-sex marriage legislation is pending in Britain and France.
Same-sex marriage is only allowed in nine U.S. states, Washington DC, and parts of Brazil and Mexico.