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This Map Shows Where Gay Couples Can Marry Across Latin America: INTERACTIVE



Coahuila, a Mexican state near Texas, is the newest place in the region to legalize gay marriage. But there are still some countries that ban homosexuality.

MEXICO CITY — Latin America is a staunchly conservative Catholic region with a deeply entrenched culture of machismo and homophobic attitudes. Right?

Not quite.

After sweeping reforms in the last five years, the region possesses some of the most gay-friendly legislation on the planet.

CoahuilaIn the latest move, lawmakers in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila on Sept. 1 voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

This change in a state known for cowboy hats, cattle farmers and coal mines means gay marriages will be able to be celebrated right up to the Rio Grande.

Like the United States, Mexico's been making these moves locally, rather than federally. But other Latin countries have passed reforms on a national level.

In fact, Latin America is home to three of the more than a dozen nations that have legalized gay marriage worldwide. Same-sex couples can even marry as far south as Argentina — a remarkable feat in the pope’s homeland. The region's reforms are largely passed by leftist governments, but that’s not always the case. Coahuila’s bill was backed by the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), while leftist stalwarts such as Venezuela are falling behind on gay rights.

There are still some strongholds bucking the trend. Take Belize, where even being homosexual remains illegal. Caribbean islands also maintain a ban, with Jamaica punishing male homosexual acts by seven years' hard labor (but allowing sex between females).

Homophobic violence also persists, even in some countries with progressive legislation.

However, overall the map has transformed markedly in favor of gay and lesbian rights, and it looks set to keep changing. Take a tour:

Map by Alex Leff.

Gay Couples Begin Marrying in Uruguay: VIDEO


After a 90-day waiting period, the first gay couples were able to marry in Uruguay yesterday, Blabbeando reports:

Rodrigo Borda and Sergio Miranda, the first couple to apply for marriage in Montevideo on the 6th, hoped theirs would be the first marriage as the law went into effect yesterday and invited media to wait for them outside the private civil court ceremony at 11:30am.

International news agencies called them the first and AFP posted a video of the happy couple after the civil ceremony in which Miranda states “While in Russia they incite violence and hunt us down and kill us like the Nazi regime, in Uruguay we can get married, we can celebrate love. So I’m very happy to live in a country like Uruguay and not like Russia. That’s all I have to say.”

Uruguayan press, though, report that Rubén López and Mario Bonilla, together for 21 years, were married earlier yesterday morning in the city of Mercedes.

Watch video of the wedding, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Couples Begin Marrying in Uruguay: VIDEO" »

First Gay Couples to Marry in Uruguay as Law Comes Into Effect Today


Uruguay's marriage equality law comes into effect today, four months after its passage by the nation's Congress, the BBC reports:

About half a dozen couples should apply for dates at civil registry offices in the coming days, activists say. Following Argentina in 2010, Uruguay became the second South American nation to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

Sergio Miranda and Rodrigo Borda (below), the publishers of a gay magazine in Montevideo and partners for 14 years, are expected to be one of the first couples to tie the knot in the country.


Watch the Thrilling Moment Uruguay Passed Marriage Equality: VIDEO


Last night the nation of Uruguay became the 12th in the world to pass marriage equality. Here's the moment it happened. It will give you chills (the good kind)!


Continue reading "Watch the Thrilling Moment Uruguay Passed Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »

Uruguay Senate Approves Marriage Equality in 23-8 Vote

UruguayUruguay will almost certainly be the next nation to approve marriage equality after its Senate approved the measure in a 23-8 vote. The House passed the bill in December and the bill must return there for the legislation to be reconciled. President José Mujica says he intends to sign the bill.

Freedom to Marry writes: "When marriages between same-sex couples begin this summer, Uruguay will join 11 countries that have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide: The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark. Three others have taken judicial and regional steps to allow same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry in parts of the country: Brazil, Mexico, and the United States."

News: Richard Hanna, Mandela, Omega, Uruguay

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1NewsIcon  Uruguay's Senate has postponed their marriage equality vote until April.

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1NewsIcon "White Christmas."

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1NewsIcon After previously balking at the suggestion, Democratic NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora now says he wants to put marriage equality to a popular vote.

DOMAProtest1NewsIcon US Rep. Richard Hanna, a Tea Party backed Republican from New York, today announced that he opposes DOMA. "The simple fact remains that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples are treated equally under federal law," he said. Hanna is only the second sitting GOP congressperson to say DOMA needs to be repealed. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was the first.

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1NewsIcon British High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge blasted Prime Minister David Cameron for pursuing marriage equality, something he calls a distraction that only impacts ".1%" of the population. "[Gay marriage] is a minority issue. We need a much more focused position by the Government on the importance of marriage," said Coleridge, who created his own non-profit to fight divorce.

1NewsIcon Meanwhile, Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps defended the Tories' equality push. Though some critics want to see a ban on fox hunting pass first, Shapps says they simply don't have the votes in Parliament; marriage is a much easier win, he said: "It makes sense to bring something forward if you think there's a chance of there being a parliamentary majority and at the moment there doesn't appear to be one... There probably is a parliamentary majority for gay marriage."

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1NewsIcon DC gay bar Omega Nightclub had its last call.


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