A bill making adoption by same-sex couples legal in Uruguay has overcome a major hurdle with the approval by the country’s Senate.

This comes despite significant opposition by the Roman Catholic Church. The law also allows unmarried couples to adopt children.

The bill was first passed by Parliament’s House of Representatives with 40 votes for and 13 votes against at the end of August.

The law will now go to President Tabaré Vázquez, who supports the bill, for his signature. The passing of the legislation will make Uruguay the first Latin American country to legalise gay adoption.

Uruguay is seen as one of the most progressive countries on gay rights in South America and has legalised same-sex unions and, in May, opened up military service to gays and lesbians.

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