A law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry took effect Thursday in Mexico City, just one day following the same rights being grated to couples in the U.S. capital.
In Mexico’s capital city, the measure also allows same-sex couples to adopt children.
According to Associated Press, throngs of gay and lesbian couples registered for marriage licenses in Mexico City Thursday, the day Latin America’s first gay-marriage law took effect.
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The first gay weddings will take place within a week to 10 days, after the paperwork is processed.
Mexico City’s legislature approved the first law explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones in December.
The change will also allow same-sex couples to apply for bank loans together, inherit wealth and be included in the insurance policies of their spouse, rights they were denied under civil unions allowed in the city.
The Catholic Church has slammed the same-sex marriage law; Cardinal Norberto Rivera called it “perverse” and an attack on the family.
Conservative President Felipe Calderon has also challenged the law, and filed a suit with the Supreme Court to overturn it on the grounds marriage should be between a man and a woman. The court has not yet decided whether to take up the case.