Couple of 14 years first to register under Uruguay’s new gay marriage law

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Two gay men who have been together 14 years become the first same-sex couple to register to marry in Uruguay on Monday, just hours after the country’s marriage equality law came into effect.

Rodrigo Borda, 39, and Sergio Miranda, 45, said it was a day of much joy and emotion, but also of responsibility.

Matilde Campodonico, AP
Rodrigo Borda, right, and his partner Sergio Miranda leave the the Civil Registry office where they signed up to marry in Montevideo, Uruguay, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013.
Matilde Campodonico, AP
Rodrigo Borda, right, and Sergio Miranda show off their engagement rings after signing up to marry at the the Civil Registry office in Montevideo, Uruguay, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013.

“We are celebrating it and sharing it because this law establishes that we all have rights. There are no first and second class citizens,” said Miranda, adding that the couple will pick a date in September to celebrate their wedding.

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The marriage equality law was approved April 10 with the support of 71 members of the 92-seat Senate chamber. The lower house approved the bill on Dec. 11, 2012 by a vote of 81-18. The bill was signed May 3 by President Jose Mujica.

Uruguay becomes the third country in the Americas after Canada and Argentina to eliminate laws making marriage, adoption and other family rights exclusive to heterosexuals.

In South America, same-sex marriage is also legal in parts of Brazil and Mexico.

Uruguay’s gay marriage bill is among a series of liberal reforms backed by Mujica.

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