Gay couple hopes wedding sets precedent in Argentina
By Luis Andres Henao
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Two Argentine men who will soon wed in Latin America's first legal same-sex marriage hope it will pave the way for other homosexual couples in Argentina to marry.
Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello were granted a marriage license last week by a judge who overruled a ban on gay marriages in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, arguing it was unconstitutional.
The couple are HIV positive and plan to marry on December 1 on World Aids Day.
"We're very happy, but also very nervous because we feel an enormous responsibility," Freyre told Reuters on Tuesday night. "It's a historic accomplishment that recognizes gay rights and opens a judicial way to remove barriers."
Argentina became the first Latin American country to allow civil unions by same-sex couples in 2002.
Civil unions in Buenos Aires and several other Argentine cities grant same-sex couples some legal marital rights, but not others such as the right to adopt. Elsewhere in Latin America, same-sex civil unions are allowed in Uruguay and Mexico City.
Freyre and Di Bello previously tried to marry in April, but were turned down by a separate judge. The new judicial ruling applies only to their case, but it will likely increase pressure on lawmakers to debate a gay marriage bill now deadlocked in Congress.
Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri has said he does not plan to challenge the ruling. Continued...