July 15, 2010

Argentina legalizes same-sex marriage

SEX - Argentina became the first country in South America to legalize gay marriages and that gays and lesbians have all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings to heterosexual couples.

The Senate vote today was 33 in favour, 27 against and 3 abstained. It had already been approved of in the lower house and President Cristina Fernandez is also a supporter.

The paperwork and forms for getting a marriage license in Argentina have yet to be altered to reflect the changes, but already legalized marriages are going ahead as scheduled.

The changes happened despite huge efforts by the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict in Rome and 60,000 Catholics marching on the Argentinian Congress in a huge demonstration. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the leader of Argentina's anti-gay movement had this to say: "children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother."

As opposed to all those single mothers or fathers who end up raising their kids alone? Utter hogwash.

But they weren't the only crowd there. An equally large crowd of 70,000 gay activists and supporters chanted enthusiasm for the new changes while police cordoned off the two groups to protect them from possible anti-gay violence.

Argentina has already married 9 gay couples prior to today, after persuading judges that their constitutional rights were being violated by not allowing them the freedom to get married to the person they love. Other judges tried to overturn these marriages in court and it eventually had to be argued in the government.

Same sex civil unions (which is different from a marriage) are already legal in Uruguay, several states in Mexico and Brazil. Colombia recently gave same-sex couples inheritance rights and allowed them to add their partners to health insurance plans.

In North America Canada has already legalized same-sex marriages, but in the United States it varies from state to state.

"Today's historic vote shows how far Catholic Argentina has come, from dictatorship to true democratic values, and how far the freedom to marry movement has come, as twelve countries on four continents now embrace marriage equality," said Evan Wolfson, who runs the U.S. Freedom to Marry lobby.

See Also
Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Marriage
South Africa passes same-sex marriage
Harper Flip Flops on Same Sex Marriages
Rotten Marriages Vs Gay Marriages

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