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5 couples in Mexico City inaugurate same-sex marriage law

Couples celebrate their marriages in Mexico City, Mexico.
Couples celebrate their marriages in Mexico City, Mexico.

Mexico City, Mexico (CNN) -- Five gay and lesbian couples were married in Mexico City on Thursday, the first such ceremonies since a law went into effect this month legalizing same-sex marriage in the Mexican capital.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was on hand to witness four of the five couples signing their marriage certificates at the end of a 20-minute ceremony, Mexico's official news agency reported. A fifth couple, flying in from another state to take advantage of the new measure, arrived late and was married after the others.

Civil registry judges in Mexico City attended special training sessions in February in advance of the new law.

"Today is a historic day," Civil Registry Judge Hegel Cortes said at Thursday's ceremony, according to the Notimex news agency. "It solidifies the evolution of one of the most important rights."

Although same-sex ceremonies are only legally performed in Mexico City, the marriages themselves are recognized anywhere in the country.

The couples were married amid applause, laughter and kisses at the old city hall building, Notimex reported. Local authorities gave each couple an arrangement of flowers.

The Mexican measure also allows same-sex couples to adopt children and comes amid the beginning of wider acceptance for same-sex unions in Latin America.