Uruguay's Parliament will begin
debating a gay marriage bill this week.
The proposed legislation was introduced
in Parliament last August.
The House Committee on the Constitution
will vote individually on the bill's 29 articles on Wednesday,
Spanish news agency EFE reported.
The measure would grant gay and lesbian
couples “the same rights” as heterosexuals, said Hannibal Pereyra
of the ruling Frento Amplio party.
“The legislation is in line with what
has been the central policy of the Frente Amplio in recent years:
affirmation of human rights and the social inclusion of minorities,”
Last year, a court in Uruguay for the
first time recognized the legal marriage of a gay couple. Judge
Eduardo Martinez recognized on appeal the legality of a marriage
entered into in Spain, where Socialists legalized marriage equality
in 2005. The binational couple lives in both Uruguay and Spain.
Currently, Uruguay recognizes gay and
lesbian couples with civil unions. After a couple has lived in a
“stable relationship” for 5 years they may petition the
government for recognition.
If approved, Uruguay would become only
the second South American country after Argentina to legalize