Uruguay has become the second Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Lawmakers in Congress passed the bill, which defines marriage as “the permanent union between two people of the same or opposite sex,” by a wide margin on April 10, 2013, with 71 of 92 votes in favor. The country's upper house of the Senate approved the proposal last week.
President Jose Mujica, who has pushed for the bill, is expected to sign it into law in the next two weeks.
Uruguay is now the 12th country in the world to approve same-sex marriage and the second in the region after Argentina, which legalized it in 2010.
Supporters gathered inside and outside the legislative palace to celebrate. Journalist Fabian Cardozo shared a picture of crowds cheering after the vote:
Photo shared by Fabian Cardozo (@facardozo) on Twitter.
The Movement for Popular Participation, a political party that belongs to the ruling left-wing party Broad Front, shared a photo album [es] on Facebook with more pictures.
Photo shared by Movimiento de Participación Popular on Facebook.
Twitter users from other countries congratulated and thanked Uruguay for the move, such as Pedro Zerolo (@Pedro_Zerolo) from Spain:
Thank you, Uruguay. 12th country to approve marriage equality. Photo shared by @Pedro_Zerolo on Twitter.
Netizens also shared reactions under the hashtag #matrimonioigualitarioUY (equal marriage Uruguay) [es].
Uruguayan Twitter user Teodora (@t_odora) [es] wrote:
@t_odora: hoy fue de esos días q hay q festejar sin cuestionarse, la lucha da resultados, el trabajo de hormiga vale la pena #matrimonioigualitarioUY
@t_odora: today was one of those days that you have to celebrate without questioning yourself, the struggle brings results, hard work pays off #matrimonioigualitarioUY
While musician German Bernardez (@GodFatter) [es] shared:
@GodFatter: A partir de hoy me siento todavía mas orgulloso de ser uruguayo. Uruguay aprueba el
#MatrimonioIgualitarioUY Un país cada día mas justo
@GodFatter: Starting today I feel even prouder to be Uruguayan. Uruguay approves #MatrimonioIgualitarioUY. A fairer country every day.
User @colowolman [es] added:
@colowolman: La verdad es que ya era hora que el Parlamento hiciera algo que pueda mejorar esta sociedad #matrimonioigualitariouy
@colowolman: The truth is that it is about time that the Parliament does something that can improve this society #matrimonioigualitariouy
Despite positive responses online and on the streets, not everyone in the country was celebrating. El Espectador reported [es] that the Catholic Church in Uruguay argued that “the law is ‘a further setback’ in a legal system that ‘has founded its existence’ on the ‘respect and protection’ of the family institution, a ‘constitutional basis of our society.’