April 17, 2013

This will probably be the most touching thing you'll view all day.

via Digital Journal

New Zealand has become the 13th nation and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage after parliament voted to amend the nation's marriage act on Wednesday.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the public gallery erupted in jubilation after the legislature's 77-44 vote was announced. Lawmakers then embraced and exchanged congratulations as the gallery, and some MPs, sang a waiata, the New Zealand love song "Pokarekare Ana." Hundreds of LGBT advocates also celebrated outside parliament after the historic vote.

While same-sex civil unions have been legal in New Zealand since 2005, the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill updates a 1955 law in order to "ensure that all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity will have the opportunity to marry if they so choose."

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