Lawmakers in Uruguay have agreed to
allow adoptions by gay and lesbian couples Wednesday, Reuters
Senators, who had previously approved
the measure on a first reading, approved the final bill with 17 out
of 23 senators voting in favor. The Parliament's lower house, the
Chamber of Representatives, approved the measure last month.
“This law is a significant step
toward recognizing the rights of homosexual couples,” Diego Sempol,
a member of Black Sheep, a gay rights group, told Reuters
Television earlier this week.
The tiny Latin American country began
recognizing the relationships of gay and lesbian couples last year
with civil unions, a move that has placed Uruguay at odds with its
more conservative neighbors. Leftist President Tabare Vazquez signed
a decree that lifted a decades-old ban on gays serving in the
military in May.
The bill was passed over the objections
of the Roman Catholic Church. Sixty-six percent of Uruguayans belong
to the Catholic church, and half of the world's Catholics live in
Nicolas Cotugno, the archbishop of
Montevideo, said before the vote that allowing gay couples to adopt
would be a “serious error.”
“It's not about religion, philosophy
or sociology. It's something which is mainly about the respect of
human nature itself,” Catugno said in a statement.