Argentine Senate votes on marriage equality today
July 14th, 2010
Today 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.”
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.