About 100 people on Wednesday protested
the Uruguay Senate's decision to postpone a vote on a gay marriage
bill until April.
The Senate (Camara de Senadores), which
is currently in parliamentary recess, held a special session to
discuss a dozen bills, including one aimed at reforming the nation's
marriage laws to include gay and lesbian couples.
The “Marriage Equality Law” seeks
to modify some 20 articles of the Civil Code, including whose surname
goes first when children are named.
The bill cleared the nation's lower
house earlier this month, and President Jose Mujica has expressed
support for it. However, opponents in the Senate said they needed
more time to study the proposal's text.
About 100 people demonstrated the
decision in front of the Civil Registry office of Montevideo,
Uruguay's capital city and home to more than half of the nation's 3.3
If approved, Uruguay would become the
12th nation to legalize such unions. In South America,
only Argentina has extended marriage rights to gay couples. But a
spate of rulings in other countries is pushing for change. In
Mexico, its highest court has deemed gay
marriage bans illegal, making it only a matter of time before
marriage for gay couples extends beyond the borders of Mexico City.
And in February Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous state with 41
million citizens, will
effectively begin issuing marriage licenses when “upgrades” from
civil unions for gay couples will be automatically issued.
is currently debating the issue.