Uruguay Poised to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage; Vote Imminent
Urugay will vote today on same-sex marriage, the AP reports:
Legalizing gay marriage has long been a goal of the Broad Front, which has ample majorities in both houses of Congress. After the lower house votes, the project would go to the Senate. President Jose Mujica hopes to sign it into law early next year.
The "Marriage Equality Law" also would replace Uruguay's 1912 divorce law, which gave only women, and not their husbands, the right to renounce marriage vows without cause. In the early 20th Century, Uruguay's lawmakers saw this as an equalizer, since men at the time held all the economic and social power in a marriage, historian Gerardo Caetano said.
"A hundred years later, with all the changes that have occurred in Uruguayan society, this argument has fallen of its own accord," Caetano said Tuesday. "It's absolutely logical now that divorces can happen if either party wants it. And I really think it won't have much of an impact."
The AP adds that "The bill also would clarify rules for adoption and in-vitro fertilization, and eliminate the words 'marido y mujer' (husband and woman) in marriage contracts, referring instead to the gender neutral 'contrayentes' (contracting parties)" and the law "would let couples, gay or straight, decide whose surname goes first when they name their children."
Uruguay would join The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark as the 12th in the world to have state-wide marriage equality.
UPDATE: Video link to Uruguay House HERE.