More than 50 foreign gay and lesbian couples are waiting to marry in Argentina as the country loosens its residency restrictions on gay couples.

On Thursday, Edgar Ayala of Peru and Ralph Zakheim of the United States tied the knot in Argentina, the first country to legalize such unions in Latin America in 2010. The men, who have been together 5 years, married in Buenos Aires, which is vying to become a destination for gay tourists.

“We are happy,” Ayala told La Nation. “We love Argentina and we are eternally grateful.”

Ayala works for a private chemistry company in Peru, while Zakheim is employed by the state of California.

“We travel a lot from one country to another,” Ayala continued. “Argentina is the country that allows us to legalize our love. We are going to fight for Peru to become more egalitarian and more like Argentina.”

According to the nation's largest gay rights group, the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans (Federacion Argentina de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales y Trans), more than 50 gay couples are waiting for the opportunity to wed in Argentina.

“We are happy and proud that more couples can marry in our country,” said Esteban Paulon, the group's president. “We have no doubt that the option to marry in Argentina will be increasing day by day, consolidating our country as a more egalitarian society and world.”