New Zealand

New Zealand Takes First Steps to Legalize Gay Marriage

First of three parliamentary votes passed 78 to 40

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand—New Zealand lawmakers have cast a first vote in favor of a gay marriage law that was given impetus by President Barack Obama's public support of the issue.

Wednesday's 78 to 40 vote is the first of three Parliament must take before the bill can become law, a process that typically takes several months. Only a simple majority was needed to ensure a second vote.