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Activists hold collective kiss in Buenos Aires to protest homophobia

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Buenos Aires (AFP)

Lesbian couples puckered up for a collective kiss Tuesday in front of a Buenos Aires courthouse to protest the prosecution of a woman in a case activists say is homophobic.

Mariana Gomez was arrested and charged with contempt of law enforcement in October. She alleges police apprehended her for smoking in an unauthorized area as a cover to accost her and her spouse for kissing in public.

Her wife, Rocio Girat, says the pair were saying goodbye before work when police approached.

"Yes, we were embracing," she told AFP. "It's the first time they have arrested a person for smoking, which is in any case an infraction punishable by fine."

She said her partner was cuffed for three hours, and even though she told police they were married, Gomez's status was listed as single.

"That makes it clear that there was hatred," Girat said.

"They spoke to me as if I were a friend, when we are married."

The couple wed two years ago. Argentina became the first Latin American country to allow same-sex marriage, in 2010.

It is also legal in Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia and parts of Mexico.

Earlier this year the San Jose-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a ruling urging countries in the region to recognize same sex marriage with full rights.

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