May 7, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Uruguayan president signs marriage bill into law

Uruguay, Montevideo, gay news, Washington Blade

General Assembly of Uruguay (Photo by Fedaro via Wikimedia Commons)

Uruguayan President José Mujica last week signed a bill into law that will extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the South American country.

The newspaper El País reported on Monday that Mujica and Education and Culture Minister Ricardo Ehrlich signed the measure on May 3. It received final approval last month in the Uruguay House of Representatives.

Gays and lesbians can legally marry in neighboring Argentina and 10 other countries.

Mexico City; 13 Brazilian states that include São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, the country’s capital, are among the Latin American jurisdictions in which same-sex couples can legally marry.

The Colombian Senate on April 24 overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have extended nuptials to gays and lesbians. Same-sex couples in Colombia can legally register their unions on June 20 if lawmakers fail to extend the same benefits heterosexuals receive through marriage to gays and lesbians as the country’s Constitutional Court mandated in 2011.

Uruguay’s same-sex marriage law takes effect on Aug. 1.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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