A bill that would legalize gay marriage
in Uruguay was formally introduced on Tuesday.
The bill was drafted with the help of
the gay rights group Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep) and is being
sponsored by Representative Sebastian Sabini of the Frente Amplio,
the nation's ruling party, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.
Sabini told reporters that the measure
enjoys the support of his party.
“We are not focusing on the issue of
gay marriage but on marriage equality regardless of sex, gender or
religion,” Sabini said in April, when he first proposed the bill.
The objective is “marriage for all”
and to “not lessen the civil rights” of some Uruguayans who today
Backers believe the bill will be
debated in the House of Representatives this year and the legislation
will reach the Senate in early 2012.
In 2007, Uruguay became the first Latin
American nation to recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil
unions. Two years later, former President Tabare Vazquez signed a
law that sets the legal guidelines for people who want to change
Last year, Argentina became the first
nation in the region to legalize gay marriage. Gay couples in Mexico
can marry in the municipality of Mexico City and their marriages are
recognized throughout the nation.