Argentina's Senate begins a touring gay
marriage debate on Tuesday, Spanish news agency EFE reported.
The gay marriage bill, approved in May
by Argentina's lower house, the Chamber of Deputies (la Camara de
Diputados), will be reviewed in the Senate General Law Committee.
The committee is chaired by Liliana
Negre de Alonso, who has said that while she disagrees with giving
gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, she won't block debate on
After Tuesday's debut in the Senate,
the committee will take its gay marriage debate on the road, with
stops planned for the cities of Salta, Tucuman, San Juan and Mendoza
starting on June 14, and lasting until June 28. The cities are all
provincial capitals and among Argentina's largest by population.
The full Senate is scheduled to take up
the bill on July 14, a Wednesday, where the measure faces an
uncertain future. The bill has an equal number of supporters and
opponents in the chamber, according to a poll conducted by news
agency DyN, but 17 senators have remained mum on their position.
Argentine President Christina Fernandez
de Kirchner has said she would not block the measure from becoming
law, if approved by senators.
Five gay couples have married in the
country since December and another 60 have filed court challenges to
do the same. Just days before deputies debated the measure,
Luna and Gilles Grall, a Frenchman, became the fifth gay couple to
marry in Argentina.
Committee members on Tuesday will hear
testimony from prominent gay rights leaders, including Maria Rachid,
president of the Federation of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Trans
(Federacion de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales y Trans), the group behind
many of the gay marriages that have taken place in the South American