After a December 1 false start,
Argentina became the first nation in Latin America to recognize the marriage of a gay
couple, the Buenos Aires Herald reported.
The wedding of Alejandro Freyre, 39,
and Jose Maria Di Bello, 41, was originally scheduled to take place
in Buenos Aires on December 1 after a judge ruled the government's
ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, but a national judge ordered a
halt to the ceremony at the last minute.
The two men looked to the southernmost
tip of the country to marry.
On Monday, the city of Ushauai, the
capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, hosted Latin America's
first gay marriage.
“As a couple, we have been dreaming
with getting married for a long time,” Freyre told reporters after
The men were allowed to marry in the
state after Governor Fabiana Rios issued a special decree.
Opponents, including the Roman Catholic Church, have called the
marriage illegal since the country bans such unions. However, the
Argentine Constitution is quiet on the issue.
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.
But the issue might also be settled via
a court order. After the couple was denied their December 1
marriage, Argentina's top court agreed it would take on the issue.
Last week, Mexico
City approved a gay marriage bill widely expected to be signed into
law by the city's mayor.