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”.  “We are very happy that this has happened in our state,” she said.
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 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, 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 14-year jail term.
Homosexuality is illegal in 38 of Africa’s 53 countries, including Uganda which has proposed an anti-homosexuality bill that punishes any expression of same-sex intimacy with life imprisonment. HIV-positive GLBT people having sex will be eligible for the death penalty. Condom use is not a mitigating factor.

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