Uruguay’s House Overwhelmingly Approves Marriage Equality in 81-18 Vote; Senate Has Votes to Pass

Uruguay_2Uruguay's House has overwhelmingly passed a marriage equality bill and prospects look excellent that it will join the nations of the world which offer the freedom to marry to its citizens.

From Rex Wockner and Andres Duques (at Blabbeando):

Eighty-one of the 99 members of Uruguay's House of Representatives voted to legalize same-sex marriage this evening. Twelve members of the chamber were not present for the vote. The bill now advances to the Senate, where support is equally strong, according to LGBT activists.

President José Mujica plans to sign the measure into law in early 2013.

"Very happy here!" said Álvaro Queiruga of the LGBT lobby group Colectivo Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep Collective).

Uruguay will be the 12th nation to offer same-sex marriage nationwide.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Mexico (where same-sex marriage is legal in the Federal District, i.e. Mexico City, and in the state of Oaxaca, and those marriages are recognized nationwide).

It also is legal in nine U.S. states – Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington — and in Washington, D.C.

Among the most controversial aspects of the law so far are new surname rules, the AP reports:

Judging from the congressional debate so far, giving gays and lesbians all the same rights and responsibilities of married straight couples seems to have been the easy part for most lawmakers. The naming change seemed to cause the most controversy as the measure came through legislative committees.

In the end, the legislators proposed to let all couples choose which surname comes first for their children. And if they can't decide, the proposed law says a "sorteo," such as the flip of a coin, in the civil registry office should decide the issue.

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."



  1. George F says

    Felicitaciones Uruguay! You are teaching the world how it’s done!
    Also…President Mujica is an absolutely charming man …look one of his speeches up on youtube with subtitles if you don’t know about him…

  2. kujhawker says

    You got love when the most controversial part is whose name goes first. Equal marriage No Problem, but who is going to take what name, we need a committee.

    If only our political situation in the U.S. only had to deal with those trivial matters.

  3. Mousemess says

    The USA has 9 marriage equality states, a marriage equality capital city and 2 marriage equality Indian nations. And more states in the process of turning to marriage equality in the next couple of years. States like Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, maybe California, maybe Minnesota, maybe Illinois etc. And the US federal law (DOMA)that bans marriage equality recognition on the federal level is increasingly under attack. Marriage in the USA is mostly left to the individual states to regulate. And so even if the US federal DOMA were struck down, and marriage same-sex couples were recognized as family at our borders, the last retrictions in the US military re: military perks and benefits on gay military couples were struck down, gay married spouses could get benefits like social security benefits paid to the surviving spouses of deceases partners, etc. and even if states had to recognize each others’ marriage laws as applies to same-sex couples THAT STILL WOULD NOT MEAN THAT SAME-SEX COUPLE COULD NECESSARILY GET ACTUALLY MARRIED IN EVERY STATE OF THE USA, IN EVERY COMMONWEALTH AND TERRITORY OF THE USA AS ALL THOSE STATES, COMMONWEALTHS, AND TERRITORIES WOULD STILL EACH HAVE TO PASS ITS OWN MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW.
    But the current affair of 9 marriage equality states and more to come, marriage equality capital city DC and 2 marriage equality Indian nations would have been impossible and mostly inconceivable 15 year ago. The US is maybe slow but for its slowness, it has against odds made remarkable progress since then (that is for the USA. Recently there has been a gay military wedding on a US military base. Canada has had gay military weddings on Canadian military bases a few years before the first such in the USA to be sure. Even though 11 with Uruguay soon 12 nations have beaten the USA for national marriage equality, in all my 59 years here in the USA(born here in the USA)… just 10 years ago, I had no expectation that I could ever marry anywhere in USA. Next year, I can for the first time in my life I can begin to consider being legally married to someone of my own gender (male) in my state Maryland. For the first time, I can see hope on the horizon that DOMA will be repealed and discarded into the dustbin of bad past US federal anti-gay laws as was DADT. The USA of today is not at all the same as the USA of my youth and I have lived through enough decades of reading, hearing and observing to be able to say that.

  4. Rob says

    “You got love when the most controversial part is whose name goes first. Equal marriage No Problem, but who is going to take what name, we need a committee.”
    My thoughts exactly! That tells you something about the way folks there think. Very heart-warming to hear.

  5. Icebloo says

    SHAME on the USA for letting so many other countries pass laws for marriage equality first ! It just goes to show the whole US legal system is badly designed and was put in place to PREVENT change.

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on the US for sitting back and letting this terrible legal system ruin so many lives for so many years.

    Congratulations to the educated people of Uruguay !

  6. Hécate says

    I am so proud of my country. This project of law was written by the LGTB aliances in my country. The parlament changed just 10% and with the approval of the LGTB movement. Last night was a beautiful celebration of Human Rights.

  7. Ivan Ivancich says

    Actually, the law passed by 81 votes for and 6 votes against. At the moment of voting, there were 87 deputies at the house.
    It was late at night, almost 1am of Dec 12, 2012 and I was there !!!

  8. jordan says

    As a gay human being, living in the USA in a gay relationship for more of 21 years, not able to even declare our taxes together, to mention just one of the denied rights to us in this country, and as an Uruguayan migrant this news made my day, and brought me happiness and pride to be Uruguayan.

Leave A Reply