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Montevideo, May 26th 2018 - 23:44 UTC

Argentina legalizes same-sex marriages including adopting children

Friday, July 16th 2010 - 03:10 UTC
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The debate triggered massive pro and against demonstrations next to Congress where the Senate voted for the bill The debate triggered massive pro and against demonstrations next to Congress where the Senate voted for the bill

Following a long and tense debate among lawmakers, Argentina has joined the group of select few nations to legalize marriages between same-sex couples.

The ruling early Thursday makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to grant gays and lesbians all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings heterosexual couples.

Following more than 14 hours of heated debate during which thousands of Argentines protested outside the Congress, the vote in the Senate came down to 33-27 for the proposal, with three abstentions.

Since the lower house already approved the bill in May and President Cristina Kirchner is a strong supporter of gay marriage on human rights grounds, it's expected she'll sign the bill into law after her return from a state visit to China.

Opinion polls show a majority of Argentines support gay marriage, and many senators publicly stated that they supported it, too.

“I believe this has advanced equal rights,” Senator Eugenio Artaza told reporters after the debate. Senator Juan Perez Alsina, who is usually a loyal supporter of the president, disagreed.

“Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for centuries, and is essential for the perpetuation of the species,” he insisted.

The proposed law broadly declares that “marriage provides for the same requisites and effects independent of whether the contracting parties are of the same or different sex”.

The approval came despite a concerted campaign by the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups, which drew 60,000 people to march on Congress.

Opponents, from children to elderly nuns, braved near-freezing temperatures to protest outside the Congress since Tuesday, snarling traffic in Buenos Aires.

The Senate's decision is sure to bring a wave of marriages by gays and lesbians who have increasingly found Buenos Aires to be more accepting than many other places in the region.

Same-sex civil unions -- not marriages -- had already been legal in Buenos Aires, as well as Uruguay and some states in Mexico and Brazil.

Mexico City has legalized gay marriage. And Colombia's constitutional court granted same-sex couples inheritance rights and allowed them to add their partners to health insurance plans.

With Thursday's decision, married gay couples can now adopt children and inherit wealth, which they couldn't do under same-sex unions. Argentina is the first country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

Nine gay couples have already married in Argentina after persuading judges that Argentina's constitutional mandate of equality supports their marriage rights, but some of these marriages were later declared invalid.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • fosterjo

    Comment removed by the editor.

    Jul 16th, 2010 - 07:01 am 0
  • Argie

    Democracy has its advantages and its setbacks. Being a system where majorities govern via their elected representatives, there's no way to less represented groups to avoid the issue of new laws they may not like.

    Marches, pickets and documents signed by thousands are useless.

    So be sure about whom are you voting in the next polls.

    Jul 16th, 2010 - 01:29 pm 0
  • axel arg

    I would like that some of those people who are against gay marriage explains me, in what aspect it prejudices to all the rest of the society, please why aren't you honest with your self, and recognize that you are just fundamentalist fascist people who does not want that nothing change, like it or not we all deserve the same rights, no matter what we do, inside the for walls of our bedrooms, sorry if you dont understand it, that's your problem, now it's the time that we enjoy the same rights that you have allways enjoyed, in my case i dont care in absolut about getting marryed or adopting children, but i believe strongly in equality, like i said before, we all deserve the same rights.
    On the other hand, the congress does not legislate only for the majority of the society, it also legislates for the groups that belong to a minority, beside this project was in the low camera since 2005, and it was presented by the socialist politic party.

    Jul 16th, 2010 - 05:01 pm 0
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