Argentina's top court on Tuesday
announced it would decide on a controversial gay marriage ruling that
has halted Latin America's first same-sex wedding from taking place,
the Buenos Aires Herald reported.
Supreme Court Justice Carlos Fayt said
the court would take up the issue.
The marriage of Alejandro Freyre, 39,
and Jose Maria Di Bello, 41, was scheduled to take place on Tuesday
after Judge Gabriela Seijas ruled the government's ban on gay
marriage unconstitutional on November 20. Her order only affects the
progressive city of Buenos Aires, where gay couples won the right to
enter civil unions in 2002. City officials said they would not
appeal the court's decision, opening the door to gay marriage for the
first time in Latin America.
But at the last minute, a national
judge, Marta Alsina, ordered a halt to the ceremony, saying Seijas
had no power to overturn the nation's ban on gay marriage. Who
petitioned the court to intervene remains unclear.
The two men, who are both HIV-positive,
wanted to marry on December 1 to mark World AIDS Day. The coupled
has vowed to lead a protest if they are denied the right to marry.
Lawmakers in the Argentine Congress are
currently debating a gay marriage bill. If approved, Argentina would
become the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage and
only the second country in the Americas, after Canada.
The Roman Catholic Church is adamantly
opposed to legal recognition of gay unions.
Justice Fayt told reporters that the
country's Supreme Court “will rule on the issue.”