Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Zealand's Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage; Is 13th Country to Do So, First in Asia-Pacific Area

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 yesterday, with a 77-44 vote, The Daily Beast website reports today (April 17, 2013).

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," Majo Mathers said to applause.

One member of Parliament -- 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."

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