From the AFP:
Uruguay on Thursday became the first Latin American country to recognize gay civil unions, after President Tabare Vazquez signed a law granting certain legal rights to cohabiting couples of any gender.
The new law guarantees heterosexual or homosexual couples who have lived together continuously for more than five years social benefits enjoyed by married couples such as joint property ownership and hereditary rights.
The text recognizes “two people — of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual option — who maintain an emotional relationship sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent, without being united in matrimony.” * * * Uruguay’s law takes effect nationally at the start of 2008.
The full AFP article is here.