In what is being described as a domino
effect, two of Argentina's neighbors will consider gay marriage
A gay marriage bill approved
last week in the Argentine Senate and scheduled to be ratified
Wednesday by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner makes the
Roman Catholic stronghold the first Latin American country to
legalize gay marriage. The bill cleared Congress over the strong
objections of the Catholic Church.
Now comes word that two of Argentina's
neighbors – Uruguay and Paraguay – will also consider legalizing
Uruguay appears the likeliest to
Former President Tabare Vazquez turned
tiny Uruguay into a gay rights leader in the region. During his
5-year tenure the country dropped its ban on gay troops serving in
the military and gave gay couples the right to adopt children. It
also legalized civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Last year,
Vazquez signed a groundbreaking transgender law that sets the legal
guidelines for people who want to change their gender.
The gay rights group which lobbied for
passage of the civil unions bill in 2007, Ovejas Negras (Black
Sheep), says the time has come for full marriage equality in Uruguay.
“We have respected Uruguayan
political tradition of progressive changes, but now we are ready to
achieve full equality at the legal level, so the next goal is
marriage,” Diego Sempol of Ovejas Negras told Argentina's Telam.
Sempol added that initial discussions
with leaders from Frente Amplio, the nation's ruling party, were
promising. But President Jose Alberto Mujica Cordano's leftist
credentials on gay rights remain untested.
Opposition to a yet-to-be-introduced
gay marriage bill in Paraguay is already mobilizing.
Roman Catholic Bishop Adalberto
Martinez of San Pedo told La Nacion that the church is wasting
no time in preparing a campaign against gay marriage.
“We are going to put out an intense
educational campaign on Christian values, to avoid the law of
marriage between people of the same sex that was approved in
Argentina from coming to Paraguay,” he said.
This after the
gay rights group SOMOSGAY (we are gay) tweeted on Thursday that
they will lobby for passage of a gay marriage bill in October.
Paraguay Vice-President Federico Franco
has already come out against the proposal.
“God created man and woman to form a
family,” he told UltimaHora.com. “I am a Catholic. I have
always tried to be as direct and honest as possible.”
Franco went on to say that he did not
want to imagine a child being raised by gay parents or how the child
would react upon learning that his/her parents are gay.
In a television appearance on
Paravision, Senator Alfredo Jaeggli said he was in favor of
legalizing gay marriage.
is preparing to debate a bill that recognizes gay and lesbian couples
with civil unions.