Uruguay this week celebrated the first
anniversary of marriage equality.
According to the Civil Registry of
Montevideo, which half of the nation's 3.3 million citizens call
home, 134 gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot since a marriage
law approved by lawmakers took effect on August 5, 2013.
However, Attorney Michelle Suarez, a
legal adviser to LGBT rights advocate Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep) and
the nation's first openly transgender person to practice law, said
the figure is “almost double” when the entire nation is
The law's significance is not only
legal, she explained, but “it's also a very important cultural and
social change for Uruguay.”
“We have made progress,” she
said. “Uruguayan society is now more fair and equal. This
represents a breakthrough as a country, but much remains to be done.”
Uruguay, which previously recognized
gay couples with civil unions, is only the third South American
nation to allow gay couples to marry. Argentina approved a law in
2010, while court victories in Brazil have effectively given gay
couples the right to marry there.