The Uruguay Parliament is expected to
give final approval on Wednesday to a bill which seeks to legalize
gay marriage in the nation.
The Uruguay Senate overwhelmingly
approved the measure earlier this month and sent it back to the lower
house, which approved it in December. A second vote is needed to
approve changes made to the bill in the Senate.
Modifications made in the Senate are
not considered controversial and the legislation is expected to
easily clear the lower house (la Camara de Diputados).
The “Marriage Equality Law” seeks
to modify some 20 articles of the Civil Code, including whose surname
goes first when children are named.
“It will be a very broad and generous
law,” LGBT activist Omar Salsamendi told the AFP. “And I think
it will leave the country at the head of nations that grant such
Salsamendi, a journalist who married
his husband Federico Macerattini in Buenos Aires last year, said the
couple was making plans for a second wedding, this time in Uruguay.
“We got married in Buenos Aires for
love, not activism,” he said. “We met and decided to start a
family. As soon as the law is in effect we plan on marrying here.”
President Jose Mujica has said he'll
sign the bill into law.
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.
is currently debating the issue.