BRAZILMARRIAGEDanielKfouri:AFP:Getty

The global movement keeps gaining traction. In Latin America, Argentina was among the first countries to legalize civil unions, and now the question of civil marriage is on the table:

On November 13th, 2009, Judge Gabriela Seijas once again put Buenos Aires ahead of its neighbors by ruling that the Argentine government must recognize the marriage of José María Di Bello and Alex Freyre, a same-sex couple. This decision makes Argentina the first Latin American country to attempt to institutionalize same-sex marriage. Despite the temporary block of Di Bello and Freyre’s wedding, ordered by a national judge on December 1st, Argentines will soon be engaged in a battle over the deadlocked debate when the country’s Congress and Supreme Court take up the issue in the coming months.

Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia also have full civil unions for gay couples (although Ecuador does not permit adoption of children). And yesterday, Mexico City became a jurisdiction which allows full civil marriage rights, only a few days after Washington DC (which, of course, is still constrained by the Defense of Marriage Act). In much of this, Spain was the pioneer - proof that a largely Catholic country can allow for secular equality while guaranteeing freedom of worship and thought for the Catholic hierarchy which vehemently opposes any inclusion or rights for same sex couples.

(Photo: Brazilians Marcelo Sales Leite (L), and his groom Roberto Fraga da Silva, participate in a collective gay marriage ceremony, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 13, 2009.)

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