Argentine lawmakers are considering a
gay marriage bill, the AP reported.
If approved, Argentina would become the
first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage and only the
second country in the Americas, after Canada.
The country's Chamber of Deputies is
debating two bills submitted by deputies Silvia Augsburger, of the
Socialist Party, and Vilma Ibarra, of the Popular and Social
A similar measure introduced in 2007
fueled a backlash from the Roman Catholic Church, which opposes the
measure. The church wields huge influence in the country of 40
million. Until 1994, the nation's president and vice president were
required by law to be members of the Catholic Church and married.
“Claiming heterosexuality as a
prerequisite for marriage is not discrimination,” Archbishop Jose
Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe told the paper La Nation.
In 2002, Buenos Aires, the nation's
capital and largest city, legalized civil unions for gay and lesbian
couples, a first in Latin America. Four other Argentine cities
followed. Uruguay is the only Latin American country to recognize
The Argentine Federation of Lesbians,
Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender is urging lawmakers to approve the
law. On its website, the group is asking supporters to write to
Sample text offered by the group reads:
“[Gay men and lesbians] are now denied many basic rights that
belong to everyone, rights that should be recognized by the law and
guaranteed by the state.”