Argentina on Wednesday welcomed its first openly gay and married senator, Osvaldo Lopez, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

Lopez replaced Senator Jose Martinez, who recently died in a traffic accident.

Lopez married his boyfriend of many years, Javier Calisaya, in a ceremony on October 10 in the Argentine municipality of Tierra del Fuego (south).

While several Latin American countries – Brazil for example – recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples, Argentina remains the only country to offer full marriage to gay couples. The predominantly Roman Catholic nation approved the law last July.

“We were a couple since 2005 and the dynamic of our relationship hasn't changed much since the wedding,” Lopez told reporters, then added that being married made the couple feel safer. He said he's also considered starting a family with his husband.

The 39-year-old Lopez said he would make passage of a bill that would ease the process for transgender people to alter their identity on government documents a priority while serving in Congress.

“Every person should be able to choose the identity he or she feels … the identity with whom you feel most comfortable,” he said.