Monday, December 28, 2009

Argentina Site Of 1st Latin American Gay Marriage

While Mexico City recently achieved notoriety for being the first Latin American locale to legalize gay marriage, the nation to host the first gay wedding, oddly enough, is Argentina.

The AP is reporting that, "Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre (pictured, from left to right, in the above AP wire photo) were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, in a ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials."

The couple originally had plans to wed in the capital of Buenos Aires, but mixed court rulings prevented that. However, since the Argentinian Constitution does not expressly rule out gay marriage, it is left up to city and state officials. In this case, the state of Tierra del Fuego authorized the wedding to take place.

Meanwhile AFP reported that the couple were legally married after Ushuaia Governor Fabiana Rios overruled a civil registrar who initially refused to wed the couple.

According to the AP story, a positive sign is that, "an official representing the federal government's antidiscrimination agency, Claudio Morgado, attended the wedding in the city of Ushauaia and called the occasion 'historic.'"

Somehow, I do not see the Obama administration sending a representative to help cut the cake, in the event that DOMA gets lifted.

Reuters coverage noted the HIV-positive status of the couple, who first tried to wed on World AIDS day, but were thwarted by a court order, necessitating the change of locale to southernmost Argentina.

While efforts to derail gay marriage in the United States are jointly championed by Mormons, evangelical Christians and Catholics (with the approval of Orthodox Jews and Muslims), in Central and South America the opposition is primarily from the Catholic Church.

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