Uruguay SenateUruguay, a small South American country of 3.3 million people, has essentially approved same-sex marriage.  On December 11, 2012 the Uruguayan House of Representatives passed a bill approving same-sex marriage by a whopping 81-6 margin.  On April 2, 2013 the Uruguayan Senate approved a similar bill 23-8.  The bill has to go back to the House for reconciliation, and then on to the president, who has already promised to sign it into law.  It’s no longer a question of whether same-sex marriage will become legal in Uruguay, but how soon.  Once the bill is signed, Uruguay will become the 12th country to legalize same-sex marriage (if France doesn’t beat them to it).

This was a very fast development, considering the fact that the country just approved civil unions for same-sex couples in 2009. 

The only other South American country in which same-sex marriage is legal is Argentina.