Americas & Beyond
|Argentina's Gay Marriage Law Signed by President|
Debora Rey - Associated Press
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July 22, 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina — President Cristina Fernandez signed a new law Wednesday making Argentina the first country in Latin America to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.
|Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez waves to supporters and members of the gay community after signing the same sex marriage bill at the Latin America Patriots room of the government house in Buenos Aires, Wednesday, July 21, 2010. (AP/Eduardo Di Baia)|
Civil registries across the nation will now begin processing long lists of marriage applications from gay couples. The first such ceremony in Buenos Aires is set for Aug. 13.
"Today we are a society that is a little more egalitarian than last week," Fernandez said at the signing ceremony.
Representatives of groups for gays and lesbians cheered, crying out "Equality, equality!"
The law, which was approved by the Senate last week following earlier endorsement by the lower house, grants same-sex couples the full legal protections and responsibilities that marriage gives to heterosexual couples, including the ability to inherit property and to jointly adopt children.
Mexico's capital was the first city in the region to legalize gay marriages.
"We must all get used to living in a free country, in harmony," said designer Roberto Piazza, who attended the signing.
He said he planned to take advantage of the law and marry his partner soon.
The bill was pushed by Fernandez's