On Thursday, Argentina's Senate approved a law that will permit gay couples in the country to wed. The vote was 33 to 27 in favor of the measure. The law will grant gay people the same marital rights as heterosexuals, including adoption and inheritance rights. This makes Argentina the first country in Latin America with such a law. That said, they are certainly not the first country in the world to do so, with Portugal and Iceland already signing in a similar document this year. All three are joining the other countries, mainly in Europe, -- Netherlands ('01), Belgium ('03), Spain ('05), Canada ('05), South Africa ('06), Norway ('09), Sweden ('09) -- that recognize gay marriage.
Passing this, however, only came after a long 15 hours of debate on the Senate floor and weeks of Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner fighting a fierce war of words with the Roman Catholic Church who don't support the decision and think it would be creating a “terrible distortion of democracy.”
President of the Argentine Homosexual Community, Cesar Cigliutti, said he predicts Argentina's decision to have a "domino effect" across Latin America.
Personally, I hope it has a "domino effect" into America, too. I fear if we wait too long, we'll be isolated as the only country in the Western Hemisphere that denies and bans this civil right.
The good news is that there is great progress in the world on this issue and there is still more to come!