Friday, July 30, 2010

Gay couples begin to wed in Argentina after passage of historic marriage equality law

The Argentinean House of Deputies passed a marriage equality bill on May 5th, the Senate passed the bill on July 15th, President Cristina Férnandez de Kirchner signed the bill into law on July 21st, and, this morning, two gay couples became the first to become married in civil matrimony under the historic law. 

It had been a race to the altar for several couples who wanted to be first and asked for a turn to marry at civil courts throughout the country.   

As of yesterday Alejandro Vanelli and Ernesto Larresse (pictured above) were set to be the first ones in line to make history in Buenos Aires after being together for more than 34 years. But it was Juan Carlos Navarro and Miguel Angel Calefato, together for 27 years, who surprised everybody and beat them to the clock when a civil court in the province of Santago de Estereo allowed them to tie the knot an hour earlier (Towleroad has photos of the happy couple). 

Neither couple holds the title of the first gay couple in Latin America to get married - or Argentina for that matter.  That honor will always belong to HIV/AIDS prevention activists Alex Freyre and José María Di Bello who married in Tierra del Fuego on December 28th, 2009, when an Argentinean court ruled that denying them the right to marry was unconstitutional. That marriage was challenged in court and placed on stand-by while the legislature debated the marriage equality bills.  Alex tells me that now that the bill has been signed into law, their marriage is currently valid.

 Below, footage from CN5 of this morning's civil marriage ceremony between Alejandro Vanelli and Ernesto Larresse which took place in Buenos Aires...

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