This will probably be the most touching thing you'll view all day.

via Digital Journal

New Zealand has become the 13th nation and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage after parliament voted to amend the nation's marriage act on Wednesday.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the public gallery erupted in jubilation after the legislature's 77-44 vote was announced. Lawmakers then embraced and exchanged congratulations as the gallery, and some MPs, sang a waiata, the New Zealand love song "Pokarekare Ana." Hundreds of LGBT advocates also celebrated outside parliament after the historic vote.

While same-sex civil unions have been legal in New Zealand since 2005, the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill updates a 1955 law in order to "ensure that all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity will have the opportunity to marry if they so choose."

And the song:
The song, called "Pokarekare Ana," is a native Māori love song popularized during World War I and then published and distributed immediately after, becoming a fan favorite across all of New Zealand's disparate communities. Sung in Māori to the tune of an Irish Catholic hymn, the English translation goes like this:

The waves are breaking, against the shores of Waiapu,
My heart is aching, for your return my love.

Oh my beloved, come back to me, my heart is breaking for of love for you.

I have written you a letter, and enclosed with it my ring,
If your people should see it, then the trouble will begin.

Oh girl, come back to me, my heart is breaking for of love for you.

My poor pen is broken, my paper is spent,
But my love for you endures, and remains forever more.

Oh my beloved, come back to me, my heart is breaking for of love for you.

The sun's hot sheen, won't scorch my love,
Being kept evergreen, by the falling of my tears.

Oh girl, Come back to me, I could die of love for you.

Originally posted to Scarce on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 05:02 PM PDT.

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