By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

BUENOS AIRES, November 16, 2009 ( – A judge in Argentina's capital city has granted a homosexual couple permission to get “married,” setting a precedent that could undermine natural marriage in the predominantly Catholic country and lead to acceptance of same-sex “marriage” in Latin America.

Last week's ruling by Judge Gabriela Seijas said that two articles in the city's civil code, which say only people of different genders can get married, are illegal. The judge then ordered the city's civil registry to officially confirm the “marriage” of Alejandro Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello.

“The law should treat everyone with the same respect according to their singularities, without the need to understand or regulate them,” the judge said in her ruling.

The court decision applies only to Buenos Aires, which was the country's first municipality to approve civil unions for homosexual couples in 2002. Same-sex civil unions in most of the rest of Argentina remain illegal. Elsewhere in Latin America, same-sex civil unions are allowed in Uruguay and Mexico City.

The court ruling could still be overturned if city authorities appeal, but Argentine media report that Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri has refused to do so.

Macri told reporters the ruling was a “very important step,” and that “we have to live together and accept reality. … The world is headed in that direction.”

“I had an important internal debate, weighing my upbringing with my search for the best customs and best liberties for society,” the mayor said. “What we have to learn is to live in liberty without violating the rights of others.”

Catholic leaders in the country were quick to denounce the judgment.

According to an AFP report, Bishop Baldemoro Martini charged that “same-sex unions do not contribute to the public good; they put it especially at risk.”

See related LSN articles:

Uruguay Passes Homosexual Civil Union Law 

 Costa Rican Supreme Court says No to Homosexual “Marriage”

Same Sex Marriage Still Far From Being a Global Phenomenon