MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico City's assembly on Thursday passed legislation to legally recognize gay civil unions in the capital....Meanwhile, back in the US . . .
"This law ... does not require anyone else to change their thinking, nor does it hurt the concept of the nuclear family," said one legislator.
If the law is enacted, Mexico City will join the ranks of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, and the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, which already have approved civil unions.
At the national level, lawmakers in Costa Rica and Colombia have debated, but not passed, similar measures.
Elsewhere on Thursday, a parliamentary committee approved proposals for same-sex marriages in South Africa, clearing the way for the passage of legislation there.
The Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and Spain have legalized same-sex marriage, while several other European countries have laws giving same-sex couples the right to form legally binding civil partnerships.
... Only the state of Massachusetts allows gay marriage, while Vermont and Connecticut permit civil unions.
Seven states approved gay-marriage bans in elections Tuesday, joining 20 that had done so in previous elections.
In Arizona, the defeat of the ban stemmed in part from its scope. It not only would have reinforced an existing state law against same-sex marriage, but also would have barred any government entities from recognizing civil unions or domestic partnerships in providing benefits to employees.