Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed the country’s gay marriage bill into law yesterday.

The legislative change makes Argentina the first Latin American country to legalise marriage for gay couples and the first ceremony is expected to take place on August 13th in Buenos Aires.

As she signed the law at a ceremony attended by gay and lesbian groups, Ms Kirchner said: “Today we are a society that is a little more egalitarian than last week.”

The law grants gay and lesbian couples full legal equality, including tax and inheritance benefits, plus the right to adopt children.

It amends marriage laws to refer to the “marrying parties”, rather than men and women.