Argentine Senate votes on marriage equality today

Timothy Kincaid

July 14th, 2010

casamiento6Today the Argentine Senate is scheduled to vote on the marriage equality bill. The bill passed the house in May by a vote of 125 to 109, but the passage in the Senate is expected to be more difficult.

In lead up to today’s vote, advocates for the bill and activists against it have been trying to pressure Senators to vote according to their wishes. And, of course, the international leaders in the battle to deny rights to gay people – the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church – have weighed in.

Oddly, the Mormons seem to have made but a perfunctory effort. The President of the LDS sent a letter to the Mormons in Argentina, but it was starkly different from that which was sent during California’s Proposition 8 battle. (SL Tribune)

It definitely reaffirms the church’s commitment to traditional marriage, says Brigham Young University law professor Fred Gedicks. “But it doesn’t take as strong a position on the legal question [of same-sex marriage] in Argentina.”

Nor does it ask members to contact their lawmakers or give their all to the opposition cause, adds University of Utah law professor Clifford Rosky, who serves on a legal panel for the gay-rights group Equality Utah. “And that’s significant.”

In fact, according to a spokesman, the LDS Church “has taken no official position on the legislation being considered.”

The Catholic Church’s approach has been loud, shrill and bizarre. But ascribing demonic motivations may not have served in the Church’s best interests. In response, the nation’s president became more vocal in support.

However, Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who supports the legislation, said the church’s tone was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

“It is disturbing to hear phrases like war of God or the devil’s projects, which are things that take us back to medieval times and the Inquisition,” she told reporters during an official visit to China.

In addition to ranting about Satan, the Catholics have joined with Evangelical groups in leading marches and holding rallies. The even let out students from Catholic schools to pump up the number of protesters.

Taking a cue from the pre-wackadoodle NOM, they were careful with their rhetoric and made sure that message appeared not to be anti-gay but pro-everyone-else. (Buenos Aires Herald)

Catholic and Evangelic organizations protested the same-sex marriage bill in a demonstration held at the Congress square under the motto “Kids have the right to have a mother and father.”

The demonstration was organized by the Lay Department of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (DEPLAI), the Christian Alliance of Evangelic Churches (ACIERA), the Pentecostal Evangelic Confraternity Federation (FECEP), and self-convened families, that were joined by representatives of the Muslim and Jewish communities.

“We’re not against any community, but we want to be clear: marriage is between a man and a woman, and children’s rights -to have a mother and a father- cannot be violated,” one of the organizers explained to media.

In response, students who support marriage engaged in a counter-demonstration (I’m not sure whether the methods are the wisest choice. In the US this would be counter-productive but it may be different in Buenos Aires)

A large group of university students along with representatives of the homosexual community are blocking the corner of Rivadavia and Callao avenues showing their support to the same-sex marriage bill after last night thousands of demonstrators along with Catholic and Evangelic organizations protested against the bill when they gathered at the Congress square under the motto “Kids have the right to have a mother and father.”

The debate is livestreamed here and Blabbeando is tweeting in English for those who do not speak Spanish.

UPDATE: It is 11:00 pm in Los Angeles and 3:00 am in Buenos Aires. The Senators are still talking and I don’t know that a vote will occur before I go to bed.

Currently, those counting votes believe that this bill will pass 33 to 31, but nothing is certain until the vote is taken.


July 14th, 2010

The irony of having “Brigham Young” and “traditional marriage” in the same sentence.

Of course, historically, Brigham Young’s multiple marriages were more “traditional” than what most people consider “traditional” today.

On the positive side, the Argentine president released a very powerful statement supporting the bill and even Ricky Martin, who is immensely popular in Argentina, tweeted his support for the law.


July 14th, 2010

why does the narrator say that the supportive demonstration is counterproductive in the US? I’m from portugal and i don’t understand why he said that :s


July 14th, 2010

Blocking streets is a common tactic in Argentina. People won’t be any more pissed at them than any of the other “piqueteros” as they’re called.


July 14th, 2010

for those who read and understand spanish:

it’s a virtual tie so far. results should be in late tonight or early tomorrow morning!

Robert Ray

July 14th, 2010

Let the gay men leave Palermo Hollywood and go to the streets of Congresso and have a sit in while the Senate debates. The senators will vote to go home, which won’t be possible if the streets are blocked. They will get the bill through.


July 14th, 2010

One of the prospective anti voters has bailed out of the final vote due to “discomfort”. So there are now 33 votes expected in favor, 32 against with about 1-2 hours of debate to go….


July 15th, 2010

And at 3:08 AM EST the Argentine Senate passes gay marriage legalization, 33-27 !!!

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