Uruguay was the first country in South America with civil unions and now, with 71 of the 91 members of the country's House voting in favor, same-sex marriage is nearly legal.
The law had already been backed by the Senate. And President Jose Mujica had campaigned for the bill and is expected to sign it within two weeks, reports BBC News. That means the first gay couples could be married 90 days later in mid-July.
Filling the public seats in the Senate, supporters of the law erupted in celebration when the results were announced, reports the the Associated Press. "We are living a historic moment," said Federico Grana, a leader of the Black Sheep Collective, a gay rights group that drafted the bill.
Outside Congress, couples held hands, kissed and jumped in celebration when the result was announced, according to the Associated Press. "I have all the rights and obligations of everyone else. I pay my taxes and fulfill my responsibilities, why would I be discriminated against?" Roberto Acosta, a 62-year-old retired gay man, told the AP.
Argentina in 2010 became the first South American country to embrace marriage equality. See photos of the celebration on the streets of Montevideo below.