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Argentine court annuls first Gay marriage
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Argentine court annuls first Gay marriage

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Only two days after Argentina's first Lesbian marriage, a court annulled the first Gay marriage in the South American country.

Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello were married in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, on December 28 last year.

On April 14, Ushuaia Children and Family Court Judge Marcos Meillien ruled that their marriage is "non-existent" under the Argentine constitution and ordered it annulled.

The marriage had been challenged by local district attorney Karina EchazĂș on the grounds that Argentina's constitution does not explicitly permit same-sex marriages.

Tierra del Fuego Governor Fabiana Rios allowed the couple to marry in her province because the constitution also does not explicitly forbid same-sex marriage.

Freyre and Di Bello reside in Argentina's capitol, Buenos Aires, but conflicting court rulings blocked their marriage in their hometown.

Gay couple Damian Bernath and Jorge Esteban Salazar were married March 3 in Buenos Aires, but their marriage was annulled by a federal court judge on March 10.

The blog Blabbeando reports that Martin Canevaro and Carlos Alvarez have received legal clearance to marry in Buenos Aires, but have not yet been wed.

Lesbians Norma Castillo and Ramona Arevalo were married in Buenos Aires on March 12.

The latest legal action involved local courts in Tierra del Fuego province, so it does not affect couples in Buenos Aires.

The Argentine Supreme Court has indicated it would decide whether same-sex marriages are constitutional, and in the wake of the Freyre-Di Bello marriage it reaffirmed its intention to decide the question before the end of the year.

Blabbeando reports that Pagina/12 reporter Mario Wainfeld spoke with an unidentified Argentine Supreme Court judge about the case.

"[I]t would be better to wait for the topic to be aired through society and through the Parliament," the judge told Wainfeld. "Of course, if the bill doesn't advance or it's delayed, the Tribunal would have to decide."

"In that case, would it be that easily resolved?" Wainfeld asked.

"The file would have to be passed around, there are some strong individuals here, each one will want to establish their position, it's a historic decision. But it is almost certain that there will be majority support," the judge replied.

There is currently a bill in the Argentine parliament to definitively legalize same-sex marriages, but a vote on it was delayed at the request of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, has announced that he favors marriage equality.

The Kirchner administration is reportedly in trouble with progressives in the center-left coalition that governs the country, and may support marriage equality to shore up its left-wing support.

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