Gay couples observe the Senate's discussion of a law project on egalitarian marriage in Montevideo on April 2, 2013.
Uruguay Senate Passes Marriage Equality

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com April 02 2013 5:37 PM ET

The Uruguay Senate passed marriage equality legislation Tuesday, a sure sign that it will become the fourth nation in Latin America to establish marriage equality in some sense, as President José Mujica has said he intends to sign the bill into law.

The country currently accords the right to a civil union to same-sex couples.

The bill the Senate passed was approved by the lower house in December, but will have to return to the lower house to approval changes. The legislation would also allow any couple — gay or straight — to decide whose surname goes first when naming children, according to the Associated Press.

According to Freedom to Marry, Uruguay will join 11 other countries with marriage equality (The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark), in addition to three others (Brazil, Mexico, and the United States) where marriage is legal or recognized in designated regions.