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First same-sex marriage takes place in Spain

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Spain saw its first same-sex marriage July 11. A law extending ordinary marriage to same-sex couples and legalizing gay adoption took effect July 3, following a 187-147 vote by the Congress of Deputies. After eight days of paperwork, the first gay couple was able to tie the knot. The wedding, between psychiatrist Carlos Baturín, 69, and store window decorator Emilio Menéndez, 50, took place in the city council chambers of the Madrid suburb of Tres Cantos.

They have been together for 30 years.

'We're normal people who love each other and want to be happy,' Menéndez told reporters. 'The happiest day of our lives was when we fell in love with each other. ... There have been many wonderful days; today is yet another wonderful day.'

'Today we are even more a family,' added Baturín, who is from the U.S.

Full same-sex marriage also is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, 11 of Canada's 13 provinces and territories, and in Massachusetts. It should become available nationwide in Canada this week, following a final Senate vote and royal assent.

Nigerian gay man sentenced to death by stoning

A 50-year-old man in northern Nigeria has been sentenced to death by stoning for having gay sex, the United Nations said July 8. U.N. Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Executions Philip Alston called for an immediate review of the Shariah law sentence.

The man had been acquitted of having sex with a younger man but admitted to the judge, when asked, that he had had gay sex in the past, which led to the sentence.

There is a reasonable possibility the U.N.'s intervention will prevent the execution. Several Nigerian women sentenced to death for adultery have been spared following international outcries.

— Rex Wockner

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