Argentina has passed a bill that allows same sex couples to marry and adopt children. It is the first South American country to pass this type of legislation.
Following more than 14 hours of charged debate, during which thousands of Argentines protested outside the Congress, the upper house voted 33-27 for the proposal, with three abstentions.
“I believe this has advanced equal rights,” Senator Eugenio Artaza told reporters after the debate in which many lawmakers in the upper house invoked their Roman Catholic beliefs to explain their stance.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez supports gay marriage on human rights grounds and is expected to sign the bill into law after her return from a state visit to China. It cleared Argentina’s lower house in May.