President of Argentina becomes godmother to lesbian couple’s baby

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The President of Argentina at the weekend became the godmother to the child of a lesbian couple.

The child, Umma Azul, who is just over two months old, was baptised with her mothers Carina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz, in a Catholic cathedral.

Based on an old Russian tradition, couples can ask the president to be godparent to their seventh child.

Azul is the first child of her mothers, and was the first known to receive the blessing in the country under such circumstances.

President Cristina Fernandez won a battle with the Catholic church four years ago and Argentina became the first South American country to legalise same-sex marriage.

Nancy Esteche of the presidential office confirmed that it would make an exception for the couple who married last year.

Fernandez did not participate in the baptism ceremony which took place in Cordoba, but instead sent a representative.

Gay rights advocates celebrated the move, in the hope that it signals a shift in the Catholic church.