Gay marriage is turning up the heat on
Peru's presidential race.
Support for recognizing gay and lesbian
couples is on the increase in Latin America, where Argentina and
Mexico City have legalized gay marriage. (Gay marriage is
effectively legal throughout Mexico since its highest court ruled
that all states must recognize the marriages of Mexico City.)
Last year, lawmakers in Peru attempted
to follow suit by introducing a bill that would have recognized gay
couples with civil unions. The Roman Catholic Church objected to the
bill, warning it was a ploy to win voter's affections.
The issue returned to the front burner
last week after vice presidential candidate Carlos Bruce, of the Peru
Possible Party, told Peruvian daily El Comercio that gay
marriage “is a part of our political agenda.” Bruce, however,
has advocated for civil unions, saying marriage remains out of reach.
While not directly mentioning Bruce,
Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima urged Catholics to reject
“Marriage is a life-long union
between one man and one woman, despite attempts by some to propose
other things,” he said during a Mass commemorating the anniversary
of the founding of Lima.
More radical was Archbishop Luis
Bambaren who told reporters on Monday that politicians “are just
looking for votes when they propose useless things like gay
“I do not know why we talk about
gays. Let's speak in Creole or Castilian: They're fags. That's how
you say it, right?” he added.