A key panel in the Argentine Senate on
Tuesday advised senators to reject a gay marriage bill,
Eight members of the Senate General Law
Committee joined its chairwoman, Senator Liliana Negre de Alonso, in
recommending that a gay marriage bill approved in May by Argentina's
lower house, the Chamber of Deputies (la Camara de Diputados), be
rejected in the Senate.
Six committee members voted to
recommend the bill's approval. Another five members advised senators
to reconsider a bill rejected in May by the lower house that would
recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. That
legislation, however, bans gay couples from adopting.
The vote comes after the committee
aired out the issue during a series of debates in the country's
capital of Buenos Aires and in four provincial capital cities.
The full Senate is scheduled to take up
the bill on July 14, next Wednesday.
While senators are free to vote their
conscience, the panel's recommendation is likely to weigh heavily in
the divided chamber.
Also on Tuesday, the head of the
political block Frente para la Victoria (Front for Victory), Senator
Miguel Angel Pichetto Michelangelo, expressed confidence that
senators would approve the measure next week.
“We need to adapt to reality and end
discrimination,” he said. “I understand that many senators are
against this reform of the civil code. But I think more of us are
for the change.”
Only in Mexico City can gay and lesbian
couples legally marry in Latin America. However, eight
gay couples have married in Argentina since December after
various judges – mostly in liberal Buenos Aires – OK'd their