With a vote of 71-21, the Uruguayan House of Representatives approved same-sex marriage on April 10. With the Senate’s approval and the president’s promise to sign it, Uruguay became the 12th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Seven days later, on April 17, New Zealand became the 13th when its parliament voted 77-44 to legalise same-sex marriage.
New Zealand is the first nation in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex marriage. Uruguay is only the second in Latin America, along with Argentina. However, Mexico City offers same-sex marriage and the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled the marriages should be recognised throughout the country.
The other nations that have legalised same-sex marriages are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden. France may soon become the 14th.
The new Uruguay law eliminates any gender boundaries to marriage, such that any two consenting individuals can become spouses. All couples will now be allowed to adopt children as well.