Argentina legalises gay marriage in LatAm first

Argentina is the 1st country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage.

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2010, 15:57 PM IST

Buenos Aires: Argentina on Thursday became the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage, following a landmark Senate vote carried live on national television.

The law, backed by the centre-left government of President Cristina Kirchner, was adopted in a 33-27 vote after 15 hours of debate. In this majority Roman Catholic country, some had reservations, but the law passed.

"It is a historic day," said ruling party leader Miguel Pichetto.

Opposition Radical senator Gerardo Morales said Argentine society has changed, stressing that the bill was aimed at guaranteeing the rights of minorities.

The law tweaks the legal code which no longer will refer to husband and wife, but rather to "the marrying parties".

Same-sex couples will have the same rights as heterosexuals in terms of adoptions, social security and family time.

Argentina became the first country in Latin America to give a green light to same-sex marriage nationwide. It followed, around the world, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and Iceland.

Bureau Report