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Lesbians' baby baptized by Catholic Church in Argentina

By Susanna Capelouto, CNN
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A baby belonging to a legally married lesbian couple is baptized by in the Catholic Church in Argentina
  • Bishop said the parents' marital status has no bearing on child
  • Argentina's president became the child's official godmother

(CNN) -- Umma Azul, whose godmother is the county's President, on Saturday became the first child of a lesbian couple to be baptized by the Catholic Church in Argentina.

Carina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz asked Archbishop Carlos Jose Nanez for the blessing, according to national news agency Telam. The bishop reportedly said their marital status has no bearing on the child.

A priest performed the baptism at the cathedral in Cordoba, Telam said.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Argentina since 2010, but is not sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the baby girl's official godmother, could not attend but sent a representative, according to Telam.

Ortiz had personally asked the President to be the godmother "because it is a way to thank her and former President Nestor Kirchner for that law that gave us rights," she said.

Ortiz told reporters that "now we hope to get married by the church and we will fight for that."

Argentina is home to Pope Francis. Last summer, he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, "Who am I to judge" gay people?

Two months later, in September 2013, Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians.

CNN's Claudia Dominguez and Phil Gast contributed to this report.

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