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Social Issues
New Zealand’s Parliament Celebrates Legalizing Marriage Equality With A Song
April 17, 2013
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MP Louisa Wall is applauded by her peers in parliament after the vote (Photo: Getty)

It was only a week ago that Uruguay became the 12th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Now, there's a 13th: New Zealand's parliament just approved marriage equality.

77 of 121 members voted in favour of a bill amending the 1955 Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to get married, the Guardian reports.

And the vote was met with celebrations in the house: cheers, applause, and even a song.

The crowd broke into an impromptu rendition of a Maori love song called 'Pokarekare Ana'. Check out video of the celebration and the song below (the singing starts around 1:20):

MP Louisa Wall, who sponsored the bill, said she's "very proud to be a member of a Parliament that has voted overwhelmingly to give New Zealanders, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender, the right to marry."

Wall also told the New Zealand Herald that she may not marry her partner, Prue, even once the bill is officially made law: "For Prue and I the most important thing when we wanted to formalize our relationship was to have our parents there. Having a Civil Union satisfied us."

New Zealand has allowed civil unions between same-sex couples since 2005.

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A couple celebrates after the vote (Photo: Getty)

Today's vote makes New Zealand the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legally approve gay marriage - last year, Australia failed to pass a similar bill.

According to 3News, as many as 1000 Australian couples may already be making plans to fly to New Zealand to get married once the new law goes into effect in about four months.

Lawmakers in other countries are also considering marriage equality at the moment, including both the U.K. and France - where it's on track to be law by the summer.

Nepal's Supreme Court voted in favour of legalization back in 2008, but the country's new constitution has been stuck in limbo for years, CNN reports.

Related:

Uruguay Legalizes Marriage Equality; It's Now The Law In 12 Countries Worldwide

Battle Over Marriage Equality In America Goes Before U.S. Supreme Court

Thousands March Against Marriage Equality Bill In France

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