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 2:26 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
A year ago, 1,000 garment workers died in the collapse of Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. Here's a look at what has changed since then.
updated 12:53 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Focus is on the fish as U.S. President starts tour with visit to legendary Tokyo restaurant.
updated 1:23 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Fireworks are fantastic and human endeavor has its place, but sometimes Mother Nature outshines any performance we can produce.
updated 11:06 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In 1987, China sent its very first email. Here's what it said,
updated 10:13 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
The world's new fastest elevator will fling you from earth to the 95th floor before you're done reading this article.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In one U.S. state, a new bill will allow ordinary citizens to carry guns in all sorts of places. Does it make you feel safer?
updated 10:10 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
In South Korea, volunteer divers are risking their lives to rescue victims of the sunken ferry.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Park Jee Young, 22, helped passengers escape as the Sewol ferry sank -- giving out life jackets while refusing to wear one herself.
updated 12:43 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
What did outgoing manager David Moyes get wrong in his six months with English Premier League football team Manchester United?
updated 1:36 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here are 15 of the world's most amazing theaters.
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
CNN exclusive: Australian officials are hammering out a new agreement for widening the Flight 370 search area.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Malaysian officials sent to brief Chinese families are armed with little to no information.
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a 63-year-old man, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
updated 3:01 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Do these photos CNN of gun-toting men wearing green uniforms prove Russian forces are in eastern Ukraine?
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
If the Duchess wears it, then your fashion career is sorted for life.
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT