The international push for same-sex marriage has taken one step forward, and perhaps half a step back as weddings on two continents are received differently.
Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre have become Latin America’s first same-sex married couple after taking part in a legally sanctioned ceremony in Argentina. After having their nuptials blocked by a court ruling in Buenos Aires, the pair travelled to South America’s most southern city in Tierra del Fuego, where they received the blessing of local governor, Fabiana Rios.
According to Reuters, Rios said the marriage was “an important advance in human rights and social inclusion,” adding, “we are very happy that this has happened in our state”.
On the same day, continents apart, an African couple were reeling from a very different response from authorities.
Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza also entered the history books on Saturday, becoming the first gay men to attempt to tie-the-knot in the Southern African country of Malawi – a move which authorities have pounced on, declaring the ceremony illegal and “against the natural order”.
The pair were immediately arrested after the ceremony, and have been placed in separate cells as they await a court appearance tomorrow, where they are expected to face a raft of charges, including “committing an act of gross indecency”. Homosexuality and sodomy are both outlawed in Malawi, and can incur a term of 14 years in jail.
On the continent of Africa, 38 of 53 countries consider homosexuality to be illegal.

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