The Argentine Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Spanish] voted 126-109 Wednesday in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in the country. The bill would also give gay couples the right to adopt children [Pagina 12 report, in Spanish], one of the bill's more controversial provisions. The legislation has been under consideration since last year, with more than 50,000 marching in support [JURIST report] of same-sex marriage last November. Lawmakers debated the legislation for more than 12 hours before voting. The bill must now go before the Senate [official website, in Spanish], where it is expected to pass [Reuters report]. It is unclear when that vote will take place. If the legislation is passed, Argentina would become the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriages are currently recognized in Buenos Aires and Mexico City [JURIST reports]. Uruguay remains the only Latin American country that has nationally legalized same-sex civil unions. Uruguay has since expanded the rights given to same-sex couples by passing a law last year allowing same-sex couples to adopt [JURIST report]. Canada [JURIST report] is the only American nation to have legalized same-sex marriage, and Spain [JURIST report] is the only nation in the Spanish-speaking world to have done the same. Both nations legalized gay marriage in 2005.