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Argentina first in Latin America to legalize gay marriage

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Thursday, in the midst of major protests in Buenos Aires, the Argentine Senate narrowly voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in what is being called a "historic vote".

According to the Associated Press, the vote was 33 in favor, 27 against and 3 abstentions.  The lower house had already approved and as a result, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, granting gays and lesbians the same legal rights and protections as heterosexual couples.

In the run-up to the vote, supporters and opponents gave passionate speeches. The Roman Catholic Church waged a major campaign against the proposed law.  At one point, 60,000 people marched on the Argentinian Congress in protest, holding banners declaring marriage the exclusive right of a man and a woman.  In recent days many, normally loyal to President Fernandez who was in favor of the new law, had spoken out in protest. Other members of the government called for a vote in favor, stating a "demonstration" of the country's maturity would be shown by passing the law. 

During what was to be a 16-hour debate, both protesters and supporters held vigils outside the Congress building in Buenos Aires. As of today, it is legal for same-sex couples to marry in Argentina.

Comments

  • Amanda 4 years ago

    Very impressive! Maybe someday the US wiill follow, or at least California!

  • Joe Mustich, JP 4 years ago

    Kudos to Argentina for supporting marriage equality.

    Onward to full civil and marriage equality rights in the 21st century,
    Joe Mustich & Ken Cornet, Justices of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA.

    And of course kudos to CT, where we legalized civil unions in 2005 and marriage equality in 2008.

  • José in Argentina 4 years ago

    This law is a positive development.

    However, it was rushed by a Kirchner administration that so far had shown absolutely no interest in the issue (they even froze the original bill presented by Ibarra in 2007) as a way of wooing the left and scoring a victory over the opposition parties and the Catholic Church, all perceived by the Kirchners as "enemies". After Argentina's loss in the World Cup, these rushed and unnecesarily antagonistic debates provided the much needed distraction from the current administration's misgovernment, corruption, embezzlement and lack of economic policy.

    With the debate framed like this, even those who, like me, supported the idea of homosexual marriage, found that supporting the bill meant providing political oxygen to the vicious Kirchner adminsitration. Under these conditions, no reasonable, calm, thorough debate could ever take place.

    We got a good bill, but lost a great opportunity to calmly & collectively meditate on all the issues involved.