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Argentina celebrates two years of gay marriage

Since 2010, the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage has married over 6,000 gay couples and has approved the marriage of binational and foreign gay couples
Alex Freyre and José Maria Bello were one of the first gay couples to marry in Argentina in 2009, before the entire country legalized same-sex marriage.

Two years ago today Argentina legalized gay marriage.

Despite opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, the Argentine Senate approved changes to Article 172 of the Civil Code to legalize gay marriage in the country on 15 July 2010.

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ratified the law on 21 July.

As the first country in Latin America to legalize gay marriage, and the tenth country in the world to do so, Argentina has set a precedent for gay rights in the region.

Since 2010, an estimated 6,000 gay couples have been married in the country, enjoying the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples, including full adoption rights.

Cesar Cigliutti, president of gay right's group Homosexual Community of Argentina (CHA), said in a statement: 'The bottom line is that for two years we've had this right'. 

'The state recognizes our families and our country's democracy respects diversity, as it should be around the world'. 

This May, Argentina also passed a resolution approving the marriage of foreign couples regardless of their nationality or sexual orientation. 

This has given binational Argentine couples and foreign gay couples the opportunity to be married in the country, even though gay marriage may not be recognized in the home countries of one of the spouses.

This decision has brought new dimensions to the global discussion of gay marriage laws, particularly for other countries.

In June 2012, a judicial court in Uruguay also recognized a foreign same-sex marriage.

Though only civil unions are explicitly legal in Uruguay, the country's parliament has stated the intention to debate gay marriage before the end of 2012. 

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