Thursday, 25 April 2013

Times: New Zealand passes gay marriage law
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 12:45 by PA

Hundreds of jubilant gay rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand's Parliament today as the country become the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex marriage.

Politicians voted 77 to 44 in favour of the gay marriage Bill.

People watching from the public gallery immediately broke into song after the result was announced, singing a New Zealand anthem in the indigenous Maori language.

Leaders of most political parties encouraged politicians to vote as their consciences dictated rather than along party lines.

Same-sex marriage is currently recognised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark. Politicians in Uruguay approved a law last week which President Jose Mujica is expected to sign.

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