Earlier this week, two Argentinian men wed and became Latin America’s first legally recognized same-sex married couple. Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre’s wedding was initially thwarted by a national judge who overturned a city court decision to issue them a marriage license in Buenos Aires. However, Governor of Tierra del Fuego, Fabiana Rios, issued a special decree allowing the two to marry in Argentina’s southern province. Freyre told the Associated Foreign Press:
Now we’ll be able to share Social Security, we’ll have all the rights as other couples — because we’re worth it…It’s a personal celebration, but also a public and political one. We have to sacrifice our intimacy so the world can see that Latin America and Argentina is opening up to judicial equality.
The milestone marriage took place the same year that Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that gay couples must be afforded full equal rights and a week after Mexico City became the first Latin American capital to pass a law legalizing gay marriage. An Argentinian Supreme Court justice indicated that the high court would likely rule on issues of same-sex marriage sometime in 2010 as a bill that would legalize gay marriage has been stalled in Argentina’s Congress since October.
Meanwhile, starting in 2010, gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. While reporter David Knowles points out that gay marriage opponents have far from accepted defeat in the U.S., recent data which shows that younger Americans are much more supportive of gay marriage than older people suggests these opponents will be facing an uphill battle in the years to come.