New Zealand today became the first Asia-Pacific county to legalize same-sex marriage — and the 13th country overall to do so.

The Marriage Amendment Bill, first introduced by the Labour MP Louisa Wall last year, passed its third and final vote by a margin of 77 to 44, making it the law of the land starting in mid-August.

Members of Parliament who supported the bill cheered loudly at its passing, and several MPs even broke out in song.


"Yay, we did it," Wall, a gay woman herself, later told reporters covering the historic vote.


Her colleague, National list MP Tau Henare, expressed hope that New Zealand's marriage equality would encourage neighboring Australia to pass a similar bill.

"Hopefully it will push the Aussies into doing something," he said.

New Zealand's vote comes exactly one week after Uruguay became the 12th country to legalize gay marriage.

The two nations join Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and parts of the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.

[video via Towleroad]