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URUGUAY PASSES GAY ADOPTION

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -Long-regarded one of Latin America's most progressive countries, Uruguay would set a standard for the region by allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, with a bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday.

While gay rights activists celebrated the passage, the Roman Catholic Church has voiced its opposition, beginning with a strongly worded statement released in August by Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno of Montevideo, Uruguay's capital city.

After the vote Wednesday, Uruguayan Bishop Pablo Galimberti said the Catholic Church had "serious objection to this law."

"We believe the adoption law we had so far is the right one because it respects the idea that a child must be adopted according to the natural law that indicates that a marriage between a man and a woman offers the best conditions to raise a child."

The bill was approved 17-6 and is expected to be signed into law soon.

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