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Uruguayan lawmakers vote to legalize gay marriage

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — Same-sex marriage is now legal in Uruguay after 71 out of 92 representatives of the Cámara de Representantes gave the thumbs-up to a gay marriage bill that was also approved in the Cámara de Senadores last week.

The bill will be sent on to Uruguay's president, José Mujica, who has promised to sign off on the measure.

Gay Star News reports that queer Uruguayans gathered at Montevideo's Plaza Primero de Mayo in front of the Palacio Legislativo to celebrate the legislation's passage.

The video below captures the reaction of those inside the chamber after the result of the vote was announced.

In a Facebook message, queer rights group Colectivo Ovejas Negras said, "On Wednesday April 10, with the approval of the equal marriage law, our country has changed. Many Uruguayans were born in a country where being LGBT was tantamount to being sick, immoral, or even a family and social disgrace. Given this unjust situation, a handful of men and women dedicated their fight for visibility and protection of sexual diversity."

According to The Washington Post, the measure creates "a single set of rules for all people, gay or
straight." In marital contracts, the gender-neutral term “contracting parties” will be employed instead of "husband and wife." In addition, all
couples can adopt or undergo in-vitro fertilization
procedures, the report says.

Uruguay is the second South American country, after Argentina, to legalize gay marriage.

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