Argentina Halts South America’s First Gay Marriage

Well so much for progress. What would’ve been South America’s first gay marriage was halted last night after an Argentine judge issued an order blocking today’s ceremony, The NY Times reports. Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre still planned to go to the civil registry in the hopes that they’ll be able to tie the knot anyway.

The couple chose today as their wedding day because Dec. 1st is World AIDS Day and they wanted to raise awareness about the issue. Di Bello and Freyre—who’ve been together for nearly five years— are both HIV positive and met at an HIV awareness conference. ''We are in love and excited about getting married, but we can't really think about the wedding party, the wedding night, or the honeymoon,'' Freyre said. ''We are activists, and how can we show our faces if we forget about the rights we are representing?'' If denied the right to marry, the couple will take to the streets of Buenos Aires in protest.

National Judge Marta Gomez Alsina ordered the block so the Supreme Court could decide on the issue. This comes after City Judge Gabriela Siejas ruled that denying the couple a marriage license was unconstitutional on Nov. 20th. Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri said he wouldn’t appeal her decision.

Even though Buenos Aires was the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex civil unions back in 2002, they’ve hit a wall on a two-month-old stalled bill in Congress legalizing gay marriages. Today, only seven countries worldwide allow gay couples to marry: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. And in the U.S. only Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire are actually down with the rainbow.