New Zealand's parliament has just passed finalized marriage equality legislation, making it the 12th nation to legalize same sex marriage. (Some headlines say it is the 13th, after Uruguay, but Uruguay's President has not yet signed the legislation. Technically the Governor-General of New Zealand must sign the legislation before it becomes law, but that is a formality).
The bill passed its third and final reading today, April 17th, 2013, with a vote of 77-44. It was introduced on May 14th, 2012 as a private members bill, one of many of which only a few are selected at random for consideration. It was luckily "drawn from the ballot" for active consideration on July 26th, 2012. It passed its first reading on August 29th, 2012, with a vote 80-40, went through committee proceedings and passed its 2nd (and most important) vote on March 13th, 2012 by a huge majority of 77-44.
2013 is set to be a banner year form marriage equality, with New Zealand now on the list, Uruguay and France almost certain, and Finland, Columbia, Scotland, and Wales and England as other possibilities.
Meanwhile, NOM President Bryan Brown has denounced the passage of the legislation, saying it would lead to "human and elves interbreeding." Aragorn was not amused.
7:21 AM PT:
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to change her opposition to gay marriage after New Zealand passed it today...Gay Star News
7:26 AM PT: Video of announcement of vote result
Hilarious (and serious) speech by NZ MP: