While the United States awaits the Supreme Court's decision on dual cases that could affect the future of gay marriage in this country, Uruguay is set to become the second nation in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. The country's Senate passed a bill yesterday 23-8 that updated the country's marriage and family laws to open up the institution to gay couples.
The bill had already passed the lower house in December, but must return there for a final vote because some changes were made in the Senate. President José Mujica has signaled he will sign the bill. Observers expect gay marriage to begin in the country this summer.
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"This is an issue of liberty, of people's choice and justice," Senator Rafael Michelini told the Associated Press. "Liberty because the state should not meddle in who you should marry; of justice because if you marry abroad with someone of the same sex and later return to Uruguay, your marriage should be recognized."
Uruguay would follow its neighbor Argentina as the second country in Latin America to approve same-sex marriage. Argentina approved of marriage quality in 2010.
Uruguay was the first country in Latin America to pass a civil union law open to same-sex couples in 2008.