On Wednesday, Uruguay, the first South American country to allow civil unions, followed Argentina by legalizing same-sex marriage when the country's lower house members overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill—71 out of 92 members!
Filling the public seats in the Senate, supporters of the law erupted in celebration when the results were announced, as reported by the Associated Press. "We are living a historic moment," said Federico Grana, a leader of the Black Sheep Collective, a gay rights group that drafted the bill proposal. "In terms of the steps needed, we calculate that the first gay couples should be getting married 90 days after the promulgation of the law, or in the middle of July."
Fittingly called the "marriage equality project," the proposal has already been backed by the upper house. President Jose Mujica has been championing the bill, and it is expected to be signed into law within two weeks, reported BBC News.
Outside Congress, gay couples held hands and transgender couples jumped in celebration when the result was announced, according to the Associated Press. "I have all the rights and obligations of everyone else. I pay my taxes and fulfill my responsibilities, why would I be discriminated against?" Roberto Acosta, a 62-year-old retired gay man, told AP.
Marriage equality passing in Uruguay makes it the thrid of the Americas to do so, following Argentina in 2010 and Canada in 2005. And to add more good news, the French Senate has voted in approval of one article in the country's marriage equality legislation—and moving full equality closer and closer. Who's next?