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The first same-sex marriage in South America was finalized in Argentina on Monday. Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were officially married in Ushuaia, Argentina by both federal and state officials.

The couple originally intended to marry in Buenos Aires but was stopped by a court injunction. The marriage was ultimately possible due to a legal loophole: Argentina’s constitution does not specifically define marriage as between one man and one woman and is therefore up to the interpretation of local officials.The couple simply side-stepped the courts by traveling to a location where officials would allow the marriage.

Argentina’s Congress is also currently considering a bill, introduced in October, to legalize same-sex marriage nationally. A vote should take place in 2010.

In another first for the dismantlement of traditional marriage, Mexico City became the first Latin American city to officially legalize same-sex marriage. The city assembly voted 39 to 20 last Monday to approve the new legislation.

The bill changes the definition of marriage from the union of one man and one woman to ‘the free uniting of two people.’ The new definition provides married same-sex couples with all the rights of married heterosexual couples, including adoption, inheritance, and insurance rights previously secured for traditional marriage.

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