By a vote of 129 to 105, with 6 abstentions, and 16 absent lawmakers, the Argentinean House of Deputies approved an historic marriage equality bill.
Maria Rachid, Director of The Argentinian LGBT Federation [FALGBT], noted that it was the first time that the body of a legislative branch of a government had voted in favor of same-sex marriage in all of Latin America.
The vote followed some 11 hours of debate, and counted support from the Socialist Party as well as supporters of the Cristina Férnandez de Kirchner government; deputies were freed by their parties to "vote their conscience" earlier in the day.
In order for marriage equality to become law, the Argentinean Senate must now debate and approve the bill, which will be a much challenge. Still, a Senate vote could come within weeks. Even before this historic vote, five same-sex couples were granted the right to marry in Argentina, including Alex Freyre and José María Di Bello [that's the happy couple at the top], who married last December, becoming the first same-sex couple to ever marry in all of Latin America. Their marriage, along with two others, were later annulled.
Still, Argentina moves ahead, and yet we stand in the shadows in the United States.