Two men married early Wednesday morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, bringing the number of gay marriages performed in the country since December up to eight, Telam reported.

Argentina does not permit same-sex couples to marry, but a string of recent judicial rulings appears to have softened the law even as senators debate whether to legalize the institution.

Diego de Jesus Arias, 40, and Leonardo Miguel de Santo, 37, married in a civil ceremony after a judge ruled in their favor.

β€œIt's a fantastic feeling, the same as many of you must have felt when you married,” Arias told reporters after he exchanged vows.

Attending the ceremony were Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello, the first gay couple to marry in Argentina last December.

A gay marriage bill approved in May by Argentina's lower house, the Chamber of Deputies (la Camara de Diputados), is being reviewed in the Senate General Law Committee. The panel began a four-city hearing tour on June 14 that wrapped up Monday in Mendoza and is expected to deliver its recommendations to the Senate on July 6. The full Senate is scheduled to take up the bill on July 14, a Wednesday. A consensus on the issue in the Senate has yet to materialize.

But senators do appear united against putting the question of gay marriage up for a vote as proposed by officials of the Roman Catholic Church.

The marriage comes two days after an estimated 2,000 people rallied in front of the National Congress urging lawmakers to approve the bill.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, gay activists urged the Senate to approve the law.

If approved, Argentina would become the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. Officials in Mexico City legalized the institution late last year. Several progressive cities and countries in the region recognize gay couples with civil unions, including Buenos Aires and Uruguay. Chile is preparing to debate a civil unions bill supported by its new president.