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New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell/Associated Press - New Zealand Labour party Member of Parliament Su’a William Sio, right, receives a hug from Family First NZ member Steve McRobie after receiving the 50,000-signature petition opposing gay marriage.
New Zealand Parliament passes 1st stage of gay marriage law spurred by Obama declaration

in NEW ZEALAND, 01/09/2012

New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly cast a first vote in favor of a gay marriage bill that was given impetus by President Barack Obama’s public support of the issue.

The 80 to 40 vote in front of a packed and cheering public gallery was the first of three votes Parliament must hold 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 bill will be passed.

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