Accessibility links

Breaking News

New Zealand Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

New Zealand entertainer Lynda Top (R) and her partner Donna Top join gay-rights supporters as they wait outside the parliament building in Wellington on April 17, 2013 for a place in the public gallery to see the chamber vote on a bill amending the 1955 M
New Zealand's parliament has approved a measure legalizing same-sex marriage.

The vote Wednesday makes the country the first in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th worldwide to allow gay marriage.

The measure passed by a vote of 77 to 44 and will take effect in August.

After the result was announced, people in the chamber celebrated by singing a song in the indigenous Maori language.

New Zealand had allowed same-sex civil unions since 2005.