The Washington Post reports:
Lawmakers supported the bill 77 to 44 in the second of three votes needed for a bill to be approved. The second vote is typically the most crucial one. The third and final vote is likely to be little more than a formality and could be taken as early as next month.
The result was little changed from the 80-to-40 result in the first vote in August. There were some minor changes to the bill, including wording to make it clear that clergy can decline to preside over gay marriage ceremonies if they conflict with their beliefs.
In her speech supporting the bill, [openly gay MP Louisa] Wall said denying marriage to any person devalues that person’s right to participate fully in all that life offers.
“Marriage belongs to society as a whole, and that requires the involvement of the whole of society,” Wall said. “The role of the state in marriage is to issue a license to two people who love each other and want to commit to one another formally. That’s what this bill does.”Congratulations to the Kiwis!