With final vote, Uruguay approves the freedom to marry for same-sex couples!

Tonight, the lower House in Uruguay voted in favor of legislation that will extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, marking the final vote in the process of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage across he country. President José Mujica says he intends to sign the bill, which will make Uruguay the 15th nation in the world where gay and lesbian couples can share in the freedom to marry. 

In December, an overwhelming majority of representatives in the Chamber of Deputies approved the freedom to marry, and earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill that only reflected slight modifications. The changes implemented last week were approved tonight by the Chamber of Deputies in the final vote.

Last week, Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson, reflected on Uruguay's steps forward. He said:

Freedom to Marry applauds the people of Uruguay and their government for moving forward into a future in which all loving and committed couples can share in the freedom to marry and the meaning and protections marriage brings to families. Uruguay's vote today to move past civil union to marriage itself, Argentina's enactment of the freedom to marry in 2010 and the Mexico Supreme Court's unanimous ruling last month in favor of the freedom to marry - citing the U.S Supreme Court cases ofBrown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia - all are inspirations and examples decision-makers here in the United States, including our Supreme Court justices, should swiftly follow to get the United States where it needs to be.

When marriages between same-sex couples begin soon in the country, Uruguay will join 11 countries that have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide: The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark. Three others have taken judicial and regional steps to allow same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry in parts of the country: Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

Learn all about the freedom to marry internationally HERE.