A gay couple who have been fighting for the right to marry in Argentina have tied the knot in Latin America’s southernmost state.

Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre married yesterday in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego state where sympathetic state officials backed their bid.

They are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry.

They wore red sashes around their suits to support HIV awareness and the ceremony was witnessed by state and federal officials.

Tierra del Fuego governor Fabiana Rios, who was the first woman to be elected to the position, released a statement praising the ceremony.

She described it as “an important advance in human rights and social inclusion”, adding: “We are very happy that this has happened in our state”.

Argentina’s constitution does not specify the gender of married couples.

Di Bello and Freyre had attempted to marry in the country’s capital Buenos Aires but judicial rulings prevented the ceremony hours before it was due to take place on December 1st.

Last week, Mexico City became the first capital city to legalise gay marriage in South America.

Same-sex couples have been allowed to enter civil partnerships since 2006 but the new legislation will give gay couples equal rights when it comes to family social security benefits and loans.

The new bill will also give same sex couples the right to adopt.