An Argentine judge has nullified Latin
America's first gay marriage, Spanish news agency EFE reported.
Magistrate Marcos Meillien declared the
marriage of Alejandro Freyre, 39, and Jose Maria Di Bello, 41,
“nonexistent,” saying Argentine law does not provide for same-sex
The men were allowed to marry on
December 28, 2009 in the state of Tierra del Fuego after Governor
Fabiana Rios issued a special decree. The southern city of Ushuaia
hosted the wedding, which 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 couple, however, disputed the
claim, saying they had not been notified of the ruling.
“We are still happily married, this
has been transcended through the media, but we are not notified and
the civil registration of Ushuaia is not notified either,” Di
Bello told local media. “If this were so, if indeed we receive
this notification, we will immediately talk to our legal teams, and
we will appeal the ruling.”
Two additional gay couples have married
in Argentina in recent months.
Opponents of gay marriage, including
the Roman Catholic Church, called the marriage illegal since the
country bans such unions. However, the Argentine Constitution is
quiet on the issue.
Several municipalities, including
Buenos Aires, recognize gay couples with civil unions. 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.
Mexico City became the first Latin
American municipality to legalize gay marriage in March.