In 2008, Uruguay became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex civil unions. Now it appears as if marriage equality could possibly be introduced into that country by the end of the year.
The Dallas Voice reports:
According to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, legislators in Uruguay have introduced a marriage equality bill. The bill has a good chance of passing because the liberal Frente Amplio party controls both houses of the legislature.
The bill’s author, Rep. Sebastián Sabini, explained the strategy to pass the law. “We do not focus so much on the issue of gay marriage but of equal marriage regardless of sex, gender or religion,” Sabini said. Laws that refer to “husband and wife” would change to “spouses” or “conjugal partner.”
If one spouse in a relationship had biological children, the law would give the non-biological partner the same rights and responsibilities in caring for the child.
Supporters said they hoped the law would be passed by both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate by the end of the year.
"Deputy Margarita Percovich, who wrote the law, acknowledged that it doesn't directly mention same-sex adoptions, but said it would enable them because gays and lesbians already can legally form civil unions, and 'the law enables couples in civil unions to adopt children without impediment.' But Attorney Juan A. Ramirez, an expert in civil rights law, told the leading newspaper El Pais that judges still won't be able to approve same-sex adoptions, because this intent isn't explicitly described in the law. 'Any objective interpretation of the law would conclude that either they forgot to mention that gay couples can adopt, or they didn't want to mention it. They didn't want to take the bull by the horns and resolve it clearly — they left it undefined,' he said."
The judges association says it is planning to meet to figure out how to resove the doubts. Stay tuned...
"Members of Congress said the law made Uruguay the first Latin American country to permit gay couples to adopt. The measure, which will now go to President Tabaré Vázquez for his signature, will also for the first time allow unmarried couples to adopt....Gay people are allowed to adopt under Uruguayan law, but only as individuals rather than jointly as a couple. Gay marriage remains illegal. The Parliament in Uruguay, a small South American nation with a secular state structure, passed a law in late 2007 to permit gay couples to have civil unions, which grant similar rights as marriage. Earlier this year the center-left government also lifted a ban on gay people serving in the armed forces."
Church leaders in the mostly Roman Catholic nation spewed the usual bigoted crap about families and society being destroyed.
Uruguay may soon be the first South American nation to allow adoption by gay and lesbian couples. One chamber of its government approved a bill yesterday:
"Despite opposition from Uruguay's Roman Catholic Church and some of the political opposition, the 99-seat Chamber or Representatives on Thursday passed the bill 40-13, with the remaining members absent. It goes next to the Senate, which approved an earlier version of the bill in July but must now vote again on modifications. If it becomes law, Uruguay would be the first country in Latin American to allow adoption by gay and lesbian couples."
AFP reports: "Uruguay, a nation of some 3.5 million people, now moves another step away from its more conservative neighbors after having already authorized civil unions for homosexuals last year...The ruling leftist Frente Amplio coalition has a majority in parliament and had been expected to push the measure through. Tabare Vazquez, the first leftist president in Uruguayan history, already opened access for homosexuals to military schools in May...The senate was due to vote on the measure before September 15, the end of a legislative period which was brought forward ahead of presidential elections in October. Lawmakers said it would be approved before the deadline."
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