Uruguay’s Congress building in Montevideo

A marriage equality bill passed the lower house of Uruguay’s congress. The bill is expected to pass the Senate as well. The country already has civil unions.

President Jose Mujica is expected to sign the bill into law making Uruguay the second South American country with marriage equality after Argentina.

In Latin America, Mexico City has marriage equality as well, and a recent Supreme Court ruling makes other states in Mexico recognize those marriages.

France and Great Britain already have domestic partnerships.

In France, President Francois Hollande was elected on a promise to legalize same-sex marriage. Yesterday, however, about 20,000 people in five cities turned out for an anti-equality march.

Hollande suggested mayors from more conservative rural cities could opt out of marrying same-sex couples.

More than 2,000 mayors have signed a petition that they would opt out, according to Press TV.

In Great Britain, the debate over marriage equality continues. Because the Church of England is a state religion, the church is involved in the debate in a way in which it is not in other European countries. A new proposal would allow same-sex civil ceremonies but would ban the Churches of England and Wales from performing those ceremonies. It would also allow other religious groups to opt out.

Other religious groups would be able to opt in, according to the BBC. Among those in favor of marriage equality are the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jews. Liberal Judaism in Great Britain is equivalent to Reform Judaism in North America, which has recognized same-sex marriage for 15 years.

In Europe, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Spain and Sweden already have marriage equality.

No word on when France and Great Britain will vote on their pending marriage equality legislation.