Skip to main content

New Zealand's Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage

By CNN Staff
updated 9:49 AM EDT, Wed April 17, 2013
Celebrations begin after the bill that makes same-sex marriage legal in New Zealand passed the parliamentary vote.
Celebrations begin after the bill that makes same-sex marriage legal in New Zealand passed the parliamentary vote.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Parliament votes 77-44 on bill's third reading
  • Law expected to take effect in four months, local media report
  • Uruguay same-sex marriage measure awaits president's signature
  • If New Zealand and Uruguay's measures take effect, 13 nations would allow same-sex marriage

(CNN) -- New Zealand is set to become the one of the latest nations to allow same-sex marriage after the country's Parliament passed a bill legalizing the practice Wednesday.

Parliament voted 77-44 on the bill's third reading, which is the penultimate step to enact laws in New Zealand. The final step, in which the governor-general gives royal assent, is generally a given.

Local media report that the law is expected to take effect in four months.

The bill's sponsor, Louisa Wall, released a statement saying she was "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."

New Zealand's move comes a week after Uruguayan lawmakers approved a measure legalizing same-sex marriage. The measure awaits the signature of Uruguay's president, who has indicated he supports it.

If the laws in New Zealand and Uruguay are enacted, the count of nations allowing same-sex marriage would rise to 13.

Lawmakers in a few other nations, including the United Kingdom and France, also are considering whether to allow same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court of Nepal ruled in favor of legalization in 2008, but those rights haven't been put into effect because the country's new constitution has been stuck in limbo for years.

Of the 11 countries in which same-sex marriage is legal, eight are in Europe. The Netherlands was the first, in 2001, and it was later joined by Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal and Denmark. Argentina, Canada and South Africa are the three non-European countries in the group.

CNN's Marilia Brocchetto and Kyle Almond contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT