In a triumph over ignorance and bigotry, the New Zealand Parliament voted overwhelmingly (77-44) to ratify the equalization of same sex marriage.
Humanity has always had same sex marriage. In New Zealand, same sex marriage now enjoys a legal status that is equal to opposite sex marriage. The bill passed is even called "The Marriage Equality Bill".
There was a party atmosphere and cheers of jubilation as New Zealand last night made history by legalising same sex marriage.
ACT leader John Banks, who as a former National [Tory] MP was a leading opponent of decriminalising homosexuality in the 1980s, admitted his views had changed since he described the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform bill as evil and sickening.
After "three decades, and ten Parliaments, I have had time to reflect", he told Parliament.
"To reflect on what I said, and what I did.
"If I knew then, what I have learned since, I would have acted differently."
[Lines] started forming outside Parliament hours before last night's debate got underway and an extra screening room was set up to handle the overflow.
Around the country, people watched the vote screening live on big screen TVs and live internet feeds.
Labour MP Louisa Wall, who promoted the bill, said allowing same-sex couples to marry meant a lot to gay couples.
''In our society the meaning of marriage is universal - it's a declaration of love and commitment to a special person.''