Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Times: First gay marriage in Latin America

Argentinians José Maria Di Bello (right) and his partner Alex Freyre.
Photo: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Two men from Argentina have become the first homosexuals to legally marry in heavily Roman Catholic Latin America, after the governor of southernmost Tierra del Fuego province let them wed.

"We got married today in Ushuaia," the windswept provincial capital, an exultant Alex Freyre told the Todos Noticias news channel in Buenos Aires by telephone yesterday.
"It is a dream come true for us. We are completely moved, and so happy for what this means for all gays and lesbians in Argentina," Mr Freyre added.

Witness Claudio Morgano, president of the national anti-discrimination institute, called the civil marriage a "historic occasion".

The wedding came a week after Mexico City lawmakers voted to allow gay marriages, in another first for Latin America. The change is not yet in effect there.

Though the Argentine civil code does not recognise same-sex marriages, a court had approved the wedding of Alex Freyre, 39, and JoséMaria Di Bello, 41, before it was challenged pending the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal.

Tierra del Fuego Governor Fabiana Rios authorised yesterday's wedding after a civil registrar had refused to officiate earlier this month.

No Latin American country recognizes gay marriages but Mexico City's legislature approved them last week - to be held starting in February - in a controversial first for the traditionally conservative region.

A group of Roman Catholic lawyers said on Monday in Mexico City that they would carry out "peaceful resistance" in the courts to gay weddings.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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