According to the Efe news agency, sponsors brought the bill up for a vote after midnight on Dec. 12 and lawmakers voted 81- 6 to pass it.
The law defines marriage as “the permanent union between two people of the same or opposite sex,” and will move to the country's senate where it is expected to pass.
Julio Bango of President Jose Mujica’s Frente Amplio Party, said the law achieves “true equality before the law for all citizens. And it affirms that equality, since we are all diverse and we are all equal before it.”
The bishops of Uruguay, however, denounced the measure, saying marriage can only consist of “the stable union of man and woman.”
Bishop Alberto Sanquinetti said that the success of such legislation is due to lawmakers “mixing up words and changing their meaning to cause confusion.”
“It is impossible for there to be a marriage between two men or two women,” he said. “If they want to create some other kind of union or contract between people of the same sex, they should find another name, because it will never be marriage.”
“No union between two men or two women, no matter how stable, can be equal, because they cannot perform the conjugal act that takes place between two people of distinct corporality – man and woman – and the sexual attraction they have is not capable of procreation,” the bishop said.
The Uruguayan House of Representatives has voted to pass a law legalizing same-sex “marriage” in the country.
Gay Marriage, Church in Latin America