Friday, July 16, 2010

Argentina Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

The Washington Post has a nice in-depth article and a link to video about Argentina's Senate voting Thursday morning to legalize same-sex marriage. The House had already passed the same bill, so this vote sent the bill to the President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who strongly supports it. Argentina becomes the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, and only the second nation in the Americas, after Canada to do so. Mexico City has voted to legalize same sex marriage, the only other place in Latin America that supports the institution. In Colombia, the high court recently gave same sex couples most of the same rights as heterosexual couples. And in Uruguay, the Congress recently passed legislation recognizing same sex civil unions.

Argentina, which has a long history as a uniquely cosmopolitan place, may be the most logical place for such a revolution to begin. The nation incorporates immigrants from all over Europe and the world, and welcomes Jews, Muslims and anarchists. Unlike many other Latin American countries, the Roman Catholic church, though still powerful, has less of a hold over policy and public thought in Argentina. Now, in the United States, only the states of New Hampshire, Vermont and the district of Washington, D.C. have recognized same sex marriage by legislation. All other venues had to achieve it through litigation, and it certainly is not available nation-wide. Congratulations, Argentina!

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