In what is being described as a domino effect, two of Argentina's neighbors will consider gay marriage bills.

A gay marriage bill approved last week in the Argentine Senate and scheduled to be ratified Wednesday by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner makes the Roman Catholic stronghold the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. The bill cleared Congress over the strong objections of the Catholic Church.

Now comes word that two of Argentina's neighbors – Uruguay and Paraguay – will also consider legalizing gay marriage.

Uruguay appears the likeliest to succeed.

Former President Tabare Vazquez turned tiny Uruguay into a gay rights leader in the region. During his 5-year tenure the country dropped its ban on gay troops serving in the military and gave gay couples the right to adopt children. It also legalized civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Last year, Vazquez signed a groundbreaking transgender law that sets the legal guidelines for people who want to change their gender.

The gay rights group which lobbied for passage of the civil unions bill in 2007, Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep), says the time has come for full marriage equality in Uruguay.

“We have respected Uruguayan political tradition of progressive changes, but now we are ready to achieve full equality at the legal level, so the next goal is marriage,” Diego Sempol of Ovejas Negras told Argentina's Telam.

Sempol added that initial discussions with leaders from Frente Amplio, the nation's ruling party, were promising. But President Jose Alberto Mujica Cordano's leftist credentials on gay rights remain untested.

Opposition to a yet-to-be-introduced gay marriage bill in Paraguay is already mobilizing.

Roman Catholic Bishop Adalberto Martinez of San Pedo told La Nacion that the church is wasting no time in preparing a campaign against gay marriage.

“We are going to put out an intense educational campaign on Christian values, to avoid the law of marriage between people of the same sex that was approved in Argentina from coming to Paraguay,” he said.

This after the gay rights group SOMOSGAY (we are gay) tweeted on Thursday that they will lobby for passage of a gay marriage bill in October.

Paraguay Vice-President Federico Franco has already come out against the proposal.

“God created man and woman to form a family,” he told “I am a Catholic. I have always tried to be as direct and honest as possible.”

Franco went on to say that he did not want to imagine a child being raised by gay parents or how the child would react upon learning that his/her parents are gay.

In a television appearance on Paravision, Senator Alfredo Jaeggli said he was in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

Chile is preparing to debate a bill that recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.