The lower house of the Uruguay
parliament on Wednesday voted to legalize gay marriage.
The Chamber of Deputies approved the
measure with a 71-21vote, prompting supporters to erupt in applause.
“We are living a historic moment,”
Federico Grana, a leader of the gay rights group Black Sheep, is
quoted as saying by the AP. “In terms of the steps needed, we
calculate that the first gay couples should be getting married 90
days after the promulgation of the law, or in the middle of July.”
The “Marriage Equality Law” was
approved in the Senate earlier this month and in the lower house last
year. However, changes made in the Senate made a second vote
The measure modifies some 20 articles
of the Civil Code, including whose surname goes first when children
President Jose Mujica, whose ruling
Broad Front majority backed the law, has backed the measure.
Uruguay's Roman Catholic Church
vehemently objected to the reforms, saying they would “further
Uruguay is the 12th nation
to legalize such unions. In South America, only Argentina has
extended marriage to gay couples. But inroads are being made in
several other countries, including Mexico and Brazil.
is currently debating the issue.