In the first of three votes which have to take place, New Zealand’s marriage equality bill passed by a large margin:
The 80 to 40 vote in front of a packed and cheering public gallery was the first of three votes Parliament must take before the bill can become law, a process that typically takes several months and allows the public to weigh in. Only a simple majority was needed to ensure a second vote, and the margin is a strong indication that the law will be passed. Should New Zealand pass the measure into law, it would become the 12th country since 2001 to recognize same-sex marriages. Some states in the U.S. also recognize such marriages, but the federal government does not. Polls indicate about two-thirds of New Zealanders support gay marriage. It also has the support of most of the country’s political leaders.