Buenos Aires Grants First Gay Marriage License

Lawmakers consider officially legalizing it after court strikes down ban
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 17, 2009 9:17 AM CST
Alex Freyre, right, and Jose Maria Di Bello pose for a photo hand in hand after applying to marry at the civil registry in Buenos Aires, Monday, Nov. 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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(Newser) – Two men were granted a marriage license in Argentina's capital yesterday, breaking ground in a country and region where laws ban gay marriage. Jose Maria Di Bello and partner Alex Freyre won the right to get married when a judge ruled last week that a ban on gay marriage violates Argentina's constitution. "On December 1st we will become man and man," said Di Bello, welling up in tears as a city clerk gave him the paperwork.

Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri said the city will not appeal—in effect inviting other same-sex couples to pursue their rights in court as well. "We have to live with and accept this reality: The world is moving in this direction," Macri said Friday, adding that it is important officials "safeguard the right of each person to freely choose with whom they want to form a couple and be happy." Argentina's Congress is considering changing dozens of articles in the civil code to enable same-sex marriage. Currently no country in Latin America allows gay marriage.