In a 125-109 vote the Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved bill that would legalize same-sex marriages nationwide. The measure would permit homosexuals not only to marry but also the right to adopt children, a clause that nearly railroaded the bill after twelve hours of debate. One legislator was adamant in his support of the gay marriage proposal over a compromise civil unions proposal:
“The civil unions bill was something in between. It was not the same as marriage, it was further stigmatization, continue saying: they are different, they can do to a point, the remainder is reserved for us.”The next step for the bill is debate in the Senate though a time and date has yet to be decided.
“Heterosexuals have to have the wisdom to integrate minorities. It is very unfair to have the power and say, with my power: you cannot, I do not want you to be equal to me,” (Agustin Rossi) added.
Argentine Catholic bishops who viewed gay marriage as lacking the “biological and anthropological elements that are proper to marriage and family” criticized the proposal. Nevertheless, the bills promoters including some local LGBT rights groups are hoping that Argentina can become the first South American country to permit same-sex marriages.
Thus far five gay couples have wed in Argentina via special local decrees though their legality has been tested in the courts. On such union was annulled by one judge and subsequently overturned by a different justice.
Image- SBS (Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello were reportedly the first Argentine same-sex couple to marry last year).
Online Sources- Bay area Reporter, On Top Magazine, CNN, lifesitenews.com, Reuters