There was spontaneous applause and singing in the New Zealand parliament today when members voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage.
77 of the 121 members of parliament voted in favour of amending the current 1955 Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry.
New Zealand is the first country in the Asian Pacific region to allow same sex couples to marry. The Australian Parliament rejected a similar proposal last year but some states do allow homosexual couples to wed.
The Roman Catholic Church in New Zealand and other conservative Christian groups opposed the bill because they believe it would undermine the institution of marriage.
Louisa Wall, the Labour Party MP who proposed the bill said "Two-thirds of parliament have endorsed marriage equality. It shows that we are building on our human rights as a country."