WORLD BRIEFING / URUGUAY

TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Lawmakers in Uruguay have approved a bill allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt.

Despite opposition from Uruguay's Roman Catholic Church and some of the political opposition, the 99-seat Chamber or Representatives passed the bill 40 to 13, with the remaining members absent.

It goes next to the Senate, which approved an earlier version of the bill in July but must now vote again on modifications. If the bill becomes law, Uruguay will be the first country in Latin America to allow adoption by gay and lesbian couples.

The law is supported by socialist President Tabare Vazquez's Broad Front coalition, which has already legalized gay civil unions and ended a ban on homosexuals in the armed forces.

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