A gay marriage law celebrates its third anniversary in Argentina this week.

Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage after President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner signed the law on July 21, 2010. Lawmakers approved the law on July 15 over the strong objections of the Roman Catholic Church.

As Argentina debated the bill, Pope Francis, as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, called on Catholics to oppose the move, calling it the devil's handiwork.

A couple together 27 years was the first to marry under the law. Architect Juan Carlos Navarro married his partner Miguel Angel Calefato in Santiago del Estero on July 30.

More than 7,000 gay couples have tied the knot since the law's adoption, most of which took place in the nation's capital of Buenos Aires and its surrounding province, according to gay advocate Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA).

It is estimated that Argentina has 2,400,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender persons.

Gay couples can also marry in the city-state of Mexico City, whose marriages are recognized throughout Mexico, and Uruguay. Activists in Brazil and Colombia have won significant victories in the courts. In Colombia, a judge's ruling has paved the way for the nation's first marriage between members of the same sex to take place next week.