BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 11:55 GMT
Uruguay approves gay civil unions
A gay couple in Mexico city (file photo)
Mexico City also allows same sex civil unions
Uruguay's congress has approved a bill which would allow civil unions for both gay and unmarried straight couples.

It is the first country in Roman Catholic-dominated Latin America to approve such a measure nationwide.

The Uruguayan President, Tabare Vazquez, is now expected to sign the bill into law.

Under its provisions, couples who have lived together for five years will have rights similar to those already enjoyed by married couples.

Couples will have to register their relationship with authorities to gain the cohabitation rights - covering areas such as inheritance, pensions and child custody - and will also be able to formalise the end of their union.

Several cities across Latin America, including Buenos Aires and Mexico City, have recently adopted similar measures.

Gay marriage remains illegal in Uruguay.

SEE ALSO
Mexico City embraces gay unions
17 Mar 07 |  Americas
Rights for Colombia gay couples
08 Feb 07 |  Americas
Mexico City passes gay union law
10 Nov 06 |  Americas
Gay tourists discover Buenos Aires
13 Jan 05 |  Business
Country profile: Uruguay
13 Jul 07 |  Country profiles



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific