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Uruguayan Senate approves by a clear majority same-sex marriage

Wednesday, April 3rd 2013 - 06:57 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The bill now must return to the Lower House, where approval of the new version is expected  The bill now must return to the Lower House, where approval of the new version is expected

The Uruguayan Senate voted overwhelmingly, 23-8, in favor of a same-sex marriage measure Tuesday, which now must return to the Lower House before it is finally approved and signed by President Jose Mujica who has indicated he supports the measure.

The bill would make Uruguay the second country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. Neighboring Argentina legalized such marriages in 2010.

It's an issue that's sparked debate and impassioned demonstrations from supporters and opponents in many countries.

The first same-sex couples walked down the aisle in the Netherlands in 2001. Since then almost a dozen countries have passed laws allowing same sex marriages and domestic partnerships, including Canada, South Africa, Belgium and Spain.

In Argentina, the push to legalize same-sex marriage met with fierce opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio -- then the archbishop of Buenos Aires and now the pope – engaging in a notorious war of words with the government over the issue.

In Uruguay, the church has taken a similar tack, with officials describing the measure as a harsh blow to the institutions of marriage and the family.

“Why make relative or devalue an institution that is already so injured, like the family, introducing deep modifications that are going to confuse more than clarify?” Bishop Pablo Galimberti wrote in a recent post on the website of the Uruguayan Bishops Council.

Uruguay's ruling coalition Broad Front backs the measure and on Tuesday the group's president stressed that the proposed law changed a civil institution and has nothing to do with the church.

“Here we are speaking about ‘rights’, with capital letters. Rights that were denied and repressed for a long time, and which a society that is trying to be modern and inclusive necessarily must recognize, to advance in equality” wrote Senator Monica Xavier.

In 2009, Uruguay was the first Latinamerican country to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. It was also one the first Latin American countries to allow same-sex civil unions.

The measure approved by Uruguayan senators Tuesday removes the words “man” and “woman” from the country's civil code and replaces them with the word “spouse”.

Categories: Politics, Latin America, Uruguay.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Step by step we're winning!

    Apr 03rd, 2013 - 10:49 am 0
  • ChrisR

    1 Anglotino

    It's a non-event except for backward looking politicians. I have no idea why it was not legal many years ago if the Dutch can do it in 2001, Uruguay is a secular country after all and not hamstrung by the God delusionists.

    I would much rather the government spend its time sorting out the squabbles within the government and get the inflation down FFS.

    Apr 03rd, 2013 - 12:58 pm 0
  • Anglotino

    @2 ChrisR

    I agree it is a non-event but you'd be surprised how difficult it is to pass. In our country our extreme left unmarried female Prime Minister who lives with her boyfriend decided marriage should only be between a man and a woman..... the hypocrisy is almost laughable.

    Apr 03rd, 2013 - 06:57 pm 0
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