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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Argentina Lower House Approves Equality Bill.

The LGBT equality bill which was postponed last week, has now been passed by the Lower House. It must still go through the Senate. If it passes there, Argentina will become the first South American country to introduce same -sex marriage, country-wide. (Marriage is also possible in Mexico, but only in Mexico City.) Also included in the bill is approval for adoption by same sex couples.

If passed, it will put an end to the current legal ping-pong, whereby  several couples have secured approval for licences, married, and then have had the marriages invalidated after legal challenges initiated by the Catholic Church. Last week in quick succession two marriages were ruled invalid by judges. This week, a fifth couple were married. Without passage of this bill, there is no doubt that this too would meet a challenge in the courts - and if overturned, would then wind through a lengthy appeals process, just like the others. ( After Alex Freyre and Jose Maria De Bello, the first male couple married in Argentina, have promised to pursue the appeals process right up to international courts if necessary.)

From Reuters India:

 Argentina's lower house passes gay marriage bill
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's lower house passed on Wednesday a gay marriage bill that, if also approved by senators, will put the South American country among a handful in the world that allow homosexual couples to marry.
"Love isn't owned by heterosexuals," said Deputy Felipe Sola, who backed the bill. "If we're all equal before the law, why do we want to give a different name to unions between same-sex couples?"
The bill permits gay couples to adopt children for the first time, one of its most controversial provisions.
If the law is passed in the upper house, Argentina would be the first country in predominantly Roman Catholic Latin America to allow same-sex marriages. Neighbouring Uruguay grants extensive rights, including adoptions, to gay couples in civil unions but does not allow them to marry.
Mexico City is the only other place in Latin America where gays have the same marriage and adoption rights as heterosexual couples.

(Read the full report)

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