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Until yesterday Mexico City's standout international contribution to 2010 seemed destined to be the swine flu virus. But now the Latin American city has an altogether more welcome claim to global fame.

Mexico City's legislature has passed a law approving gay marriage, the first such piece of legislation anywhere in South America. Mexico City now stands alongside liberal bastions such as Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa in respect to gay rights.

This is all the more impressive since the law was opposed by Mexico's ruling National Action Party and the Catholic Church. The Mexican Cardinal, Javier Lozano Barragan, warned earlier this month that homosexuals "will never make it to the kingdom of heaven". He's welcome to believe that if he likes. But what Cardinal Barragan will soon be unable to deny is that gays have the legal right to get married in Mexico City; to which the only appropriate response is a hearty "Olé".

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