Argentina in 2010 became the first Latin American nation to legalize gay marriage, granting same-sex couples all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings to heterosexuals, according to the Associated Press.
From the AP:
The approval came despite a concerted campaign by the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups, which drew 60,000 people to march on Congress and urged parents in churches and schools to work against passage. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio led the campaign, saying "children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother."
Opponents of gay marriage proposed a civil-union law instead that would have barred gays from adopting or undergoing in-vitro fertilization to have children, and enabled any civil servant to "conscientiously object" to register gay couples. In the end, parliamentary maneuvers kept the Senate from voting on civil unions as the government bet all or nothing on the more politically difficult option of marriage.
On Wednesday, Cardinal Bergoglio became Pope Francis.