ATLANTA, GA, (CNN) - It was the first Latin American country to allow same-sex couples to adopt, and now, lawmakers in Uruguay say they should be able to marry too.
A new marriage equality bill just needs the president's signature before it becomes law. When it was all said and done, an overwhelming majority said yes.
71 out of 92 members of Uruguay's Lower House of Parliament approved the bill that legalizes same-sex marriage. It was a long session at the house. The debate was heated with arguments in favor and against gay marriage.
"We want to ratify our position in defense of marriage as we understand it in its natural conception, namely, the legal and protected union of a man and a woman for procreation."
This is the vindication of rights that had been long ignored in this country. In my opinion, this step moves Uruguay forward into the modern world and the historical context in which we live.
For Mauricio Coutino and Damian Diaz, who've been together for four years, the legislation was long overdue. "We have a solid relationship supported by both of our families."
They plan to get married as soon as the law goes into effect in about three months. "We live together and are very much in love. We have projects we want to do together."
With this legislation, Uruguay becomes the second country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, after Argentina, and the twelfth in the world.
President Jose Mujica still needs to sign the bill into law, but that's seen as a mere formality because he has indicated many times before that he favors same-sex marriage and would sign the bill from parliament.