WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- MPs voted 77-44 on Wednesday to advance a bill that would bring marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in New Zealand.
The third and final vote is expected to come in April, and passage is all but assured.
If the bill is approved, the law will go into effect in August.
MP Louisa Wall, who is gay, is the bill's sponsor. She opened debate on Wednesday by wrapping up the whole issue in one sentence: "It's not about gay marriage, same-sex marriage or straight marriage," Wall said. "It's about equality."