Argentina: Gay marriage legalised

Celebrations at parliament house in Buemos Aires on passing of a bill legalising same-sex marriage.

Argentina’s Senate narrowly approved a measure on July 15 legalising same-sex marriage, the New York Times said that day. The NYT said Argentina is the first Latin American nation to allow gay couples to wed.

The bill, which was sponsored by the government of President Cristinia Fernandez, was passed by 33-27. On July 15, Prensa Latina said Fernandez congratulated the Senate, saying the bill will allow for the protection of the rights of a minority.

It was strongly opposed by the Catholic Church. The NYT said the church, which engaged in a war of words over the issue with Fernandez, organised protests across the country on July 13 against the bill.

Argentine priest, Jose Alessio, defied the church by publicly supporting gay marriage, the British Independent said on July 15. He vowed to defy his archbishop's orders to stop celebrating mass in retaliation.

The NYT said the law will give gay people the same marital rights as heterosexuals, including adoption and inheritance rights.