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Ecuador Approves New Constitution Including Same-Sex Civil Unions

In a preliminary vote count, 65% of Ecuadorans approved a new constitution on Sunday. It widely expands the power and term limits of its President Rafael Correa an his theory of a "21st century socialism".

CorreaThe WaPo reports: "Correa's supporters emphasize that the 444-article document -- Ecuador's 20th constitution -- prohibits discrimination, respects private property, will increase spending on health care and the poor, and enshrines more rights for indigenous groups. In a country rich with ecological treasures, including the Galapagos Islands and part of the Amazon rain forest, the constitution also calls on government to avoid measures that would destroy ecosystems or drive species to extinction -- the first such measure of its kind, according to Ecuadoran officials. The constitution would allow civil unions for gay couples."

It has its detractors: "Opponents of the president say the document would allow Correa to consolidate too much control over the economy, as well as over strategic sectors such as oil and mining, without sufficient checks on his authority. And some voters said Sunday that the new constitution would create a bloated state that will not be able to meet expectations. 'The state will be unable to meet demand due to a lack of resources,' said Lucia Cordero, 42, who was voting in La Floresta parish in northern Quito, an area home to both working-class and middle-class residents. 'It's too statist.'"

EcuadorIn April, Correa said: "Let's be clear that the profoundly humanistic position of this government is to respect the intrinsic dignity of everyone, of every human being, independently of their creed, race, sexual preference. ... We will give certain guarantees to stable gay couples but matrimony will continue being reserved for a man, a woman and the family. ... Every person has dignity, that's to say, one must respect a person independently of their sexual preference. Be careful not to deny employment to someone because of their sexual preference. That is discrimination, that is unconstitutional."

Voters in Ecuador Approve Constitution [washington post]

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  1. Sounds like the kind of government we need.

    Posted by: Miles | Sep 30, 2008 10:07:50 AM

  2. Wow it seems like Ecuador is headed in the right direction; helping out the poor, getting rid of discrimination.... doesn't sound bad.

    Posted by: Nancy | Sep 30, 2008 12:52:37 PM

  3. That just great. Now we lag behind Ecuador in human rights.

    Posted by: thespeck | Sep 30, 2008 1:08:52 PM

  4. That just great. Now we lag behind Ecuador in human rights.

    Posted by: thespeck | Sep 30, 2008 1:09:10 PM

  5. Quite amazing that Ecuador's will inscribe into its new Constitution the recognition of civil unions for gay couples! The key word is "civil". Of course, you can expect the execrable Catholic and evangelical naysayers to start their odious campaigns against it. One hopes that they will fail. It appears that in some places in this world, gays and lesbians are being accorded the dignity and respect we deserve. Too bad it won't happen here in the U.S.A.

    Posted by: mike | Sep 30, 2008 2:39:29 PM

  6. The goddamn Republicans here in the US have set us back so badly that much of South America has pulled ahead of us!

    Interesting that they use the term "sexual preference" instead of "sexual orientation." Hmmm... I wonder if transgendered people are included?

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Oct 4, 2008 10:29:56 PM

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