A gay marriage bill in Uruguay is
expected to clear a critical hurdle on its way to becoming law as the
Uruguay Senate reconvenes on Tuesday.
Senator Luis Rosadilla of the ruling
Frente Amplio party earlier confirmed that the measure will be
debated in the upcoming session. Other reports state that the
chamber could vote on the issue as early as Tuesday.
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 in December and President Jose Mujica has expressed support for
After passage in the House and an
initial nod in the Senate late last year, leaders agreed to postpone
debate on the issue following an outcry from opponents who said they
needed more time to study the proposal's text.
The House will need to vote on
alterations made to the bill in the Senate, but the changes are not
Uruguay currently recognizes gay
couples with civil unions. After a couple has lived in a “stable
relationship” for 5 years, they may petition the government for the
If the marriage law is approved,
Uruguay would become the 12th nation to legalize such
unions. In South America, only Argentina has extended marriage to
gay couples. But inroads are being made in several other countries,
including Mexico and Brazil. Colombia
is currently debating the issue.