New Zealand flagPost submitted by Eric Cameron, HRC Digital Media Specialist

'The first same-sex weddings have been held in New Zealand following the successful passage of marriage equality legislation in April.

New Zealand is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to pass marriage equality. BBC News reports that about 1,000 same-sex couples from neighboring Australia are expected to cross the Tasman Sea to marry in the coming months.

The newly marriedModern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson was a guest at one of the first wedding ceremonies conducted earlier today.

New Zealand joins the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France and Uruguay in recognizing marriage equality nationwide. A May ruling by Brazil’s National Council of Justice helped clear the path for marriage equality in Brazil, and marriage equality legislation is expected take force in England and Wales in 2014.

Same-sex marriage is also recognized in parts of Mexico and in thirteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

In case you missed it, watch below as marriage equality supporters sing a traditional Maori love song after marriage legislation passed the New Zealand Parliament in April.

Filed under: International, Marriage

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