Latin America & Caribbean

Argentine gay couple tie knot under new marriage law

Mr Calefato and Mr Navarro after the ceremony
Image caption The couple have been together for 27 years

An architect and a retired office administrator have become the first gay couple to marry in Argentina under a new law legalising same-sex marriages.

Miguel Angel Calefato, 65, and Jose Luis Navarro, 54, have lived together for 27 years.

Argentina is the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex marriage.

The law was passed after a long and often bitter campaign and it still faces opposition, most notably from the Roman Catholic Church.

After the early-morning ceremony in the northern town of Frias, Mr Calefato and Mr Navarro promised to hold a big party to thank all who had supported the passage of the law.

Another gay couple got married in Buenos Aires an hour later, and many more gay marriages are scheduled for the weekend, including one between two men serving time in prison.

The first lesbian couple are scheduled to tie the knot at the beginning of August.

The BBC's Daniel Schweimler in Buenos Aires says the law's passage was not smooth, with the country's Roman Catholic Church lobbying strongly against it.

The first gay wedding in Argentina took place in December when Alejandro Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello married in Tierra del Fuego province.

Gay marriage was illegal in Argentina at the time, but the Tierra del Fuego governor issued a special decree allowing the couple to marry there.

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