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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
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Congratulations to Uruguay
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/07/13
Last updated on: 08/07/13
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A reveler cheers the decision of Uruguay's House of Representatives in April.

Congratulations to Uruguay, whose marriage equality law, which was passed overwhelmingly in April, has now gone into effect. On August 5, 2013 same-sex couples in Uruguay applied for marriage licenses in Montevideo and other locales throughout the country. The country's first same-sex marriage was conducted at a hospital where one of the spouses is suffering from cancer. The government waived the ten day waiting period because of the patient's terminal illness.

As Pablo Fernandez reports for the Associated Press, Lusia Salaberry, the civil registrar who officiated at the hospital wedding, described it as a "very emotional" and intimate ceremony. She did not identify the couple.

The first same-sex couple to register on August 5 was television producer Sergio Miranda and artist Rodrigo Borda, who have been partners for 14 years.

"This is an historic day for us and for the country," Borda said. "No longer will there be first- and second-class citizens. This will be seen in many countries where this option still isn't possible, and hopefully help people in those places live more freely."

"This will help so that many people can say, 'I went with my boyfriend to walk in the park,' and not have to invent that they have a girlfriend or something like that," Miranda said.

"There are people who constantly live a double-life," Borda added. "That's why we've made this so visible, to show that it can be done. We're in a country that has a very open mind right now--you can see it in the people and in the street."

Miranda and Borda said that U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso is a friend who has been invited to their wedding.

Uruguay joins Canada and Argentina as nations in the Americas to have achieved marriage equality nationally through legislative action. Marriage equality is also available as a result of a combination of legislative and judicial action in all or parts of Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and Colombia.

The video below documents the cheers that erupted when Uruguay's House of Representatives passed the marriage equality bill in April.

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