WELLINGTON- New Zealand lawmakers vote on a bill to allow same sex marriages on Wednesday which, if passed as expected, will make the tiny island nation the first in the Asia-Pacific region to extend marriage rights to gay couples.
The bill to amend the current 1955 Marriage Act to allow same sex couples to marry was widely expected to pass, given overwhelming support in a preliminary vote last month.
If it does pass, the amendment will likely come into effect in August. Australia last year rejected a similar proposal.
The bill was opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and some conservative religious, political and social groups which campaigned that it would undermine the institution of the family.