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New Zealand Parliament passes 1st stage of gay marriage law

New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday cast a first vote in favor of a gay marriage. The gay marriage bill has passed its first reading in parliament by 80 votes to 40.

New Zealand Herald reports:

Same-sex marriage has become a near-certainty after legislation to allow it passed its first reading last night by a two-to-one margin.

The size of the majority means the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is now expected to pass comfortably into law.

Huge cheers from a full parliamentary chamber greeted the historic vote, in which 80 MPs favoured a law change and 40 opposed it.

The bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Louisa Wall, said she had been hoping for 61 votes – the least needed for a majority in the 121-seat house. To get 80 was “very special”.

The vote was originally declared at 78 in favour, but this was updated to 80 when it was found that National had forgotten to cast proxy votes for coalition MPs John Banks of Act and Peter Dunne of United Future.

Read the full article via NEW ZELAND HERALD