Marriage update – South America
January 27th, 2013
It’s getting marriagey all over the place. And it’s also getting hard to keep track of what is going on where. So here is an update to help (which will probably be outdated by the time I hit “publish”).
Central South America:
Argentina - marriage has been equal since 2010.
Bolivia - in 2011 a bill to grant some limited couple recognition was introduced into the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies. It was referred in April 2012 to the Human Rights Commission, where it appears to have fallen asleep.
Brazil - since May 2011, Brazil has had recognizd civil unions for same-sex couples. The states of Alegoas and Bahia allow couples to administratively convert the civil unions to marriage. Since last month, same-sex couples in Sao Paulo may marry without any converted-civil-unions process.
Chile - on March 27, 2012, Daniel Zamudio was tortured and beaten to death. Much in the same way that Matthew Sheppard’s story changed the United States, Zamudio’s has been changing Chile. A long-stalled non-discrimination bill was quickly passed and signed and the populace is now impatient with institutionalize homophobia.
In August 2011, conservative President Pinera sent a civil unions bill to congress and two months ago he reaffirmed that the end of his term, March 2014, is the deadline for its passage. In hearings on the bill in the first weeks of the year, the Catholic Bishop of San Bernardo testified that the bill “brings the destruction of human beings and, although they deny it, destruction to social and family peace among men.” However, public polling shows strong support and the President has named the bill “a top priority”.
The opposition party’s contenders for Presidential nominee debated earlier this month whether same-sex couples should have civil unions or marriage rights. It is likely that civil unions will be achieved this year and that marriage equality will then follow at some point.
Colombia - in July 2011, the Supreme Court found that same sex couples have the same contitutional rights to recognition as heterosexual couples, but they left the structure open to Congress to legislate. Since that time there have been various bills pass one house or the other, but none came to completion. Currently there is a marriage bill in the Senate which has passed the first committee hurdle. Should no bill be enacted by June 20th, same-sex couples will be able to go to judges and become recognized. As there is no alternative legal structure in place, it seems logical that the only legal alternative for judges is to declare them married. But as legislators are disinclined to turn over power to anyone, it’s even more likely that something – civil unions or marriage – will be in place by that date.
Ecuador - while marriage equality is banned by constitution, Ecuador has had civil unions since 2008.
Uruguay - civil unions have been available since 2007. Last month a marriage equality bill passed the House of Deputes with a wide margin last month and is expected to pass the Senate in April.
And while other nations in South America are strongly hostile to same-sex marriage recognition, many of them place strong importance on the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has been increasingly supportive of gay rights. It may be that this court plays a role in shifting the continent’s laws in the near future.
Couple recognition in Latin America
August 10th, 2011
As it stands, much of Latin America either has some form of couple recognition or is in the process of doing so.
Marriage – Argentina 2010
Marriage – Mexico 2010 – marriage must occur in Mexico City but recognized throughout
Civil Unions – Uruguay 2007
Civil Unions – Ecuador 2008
Civil Unions – Brazil 2011
Proposed – Colombia 2011 – Court directed the legislature to draft law
Proposed – Chile 2011 – President proposed Life Partnership (Civil Unions) bill
Argentinans begin to marry
July 30th, 2010
Marriage equality has begun in Argentina (Star-Telegram)
After a 27-year courtship, two men on Friday became the first gay couple to wed under Argentina’s historic same-sex marriage law – the first of its kind for a Latin American nation.
Jose Luis Navarro, 54, and Miguel Angel Calefato, 65, tied the knot in provincial Santiago del Estero in an early morning ceremony where a civil registry official used a pen to cross out “man and woman” on the marriage license and wrote in “contracting parties.”
Their honeymoon is being provided by the Mexico City tourism agency. (Mexico City is the only other locality in Latin America to provide marriage equality.)
Gay Marriage Killed The Penguins
July 23rd, 2010
The ex-gay nutcake of San Diego strikes again:
Penguins Boycott Argentina’s Forced Same-Sex Marriage Law! Homosexual Activists Claim Penguins Are Gay: Shocked Penguins Drop Dead in Response!
Hundreds of dead Magellanic penguins have washed ashore on beaches in Brazil this month, animal experts say.
At least 500 have been reported in the Peruibe area, The Christian Science Monitor reported. The city is south of Sao Paulo.
Brazil, Argentina, Antarctica… it’s all the same, isn’t it? Here’s the Christian Science Monitor report. Scientists say normal migrations are normal, but the currents have shifted due to local weather patterns. But ex-gay gadfly James Hartline, who is off his meds again, says it’s punishment for same-sex marriage in Argentina:
This is the latest in a series of global strikes by nature against areas of the world where homosexual activists are being empowered to spread homosexuality and paganism via their partners in activist governmental bodies and liberalized emergent church organizations.
Marriage is official in Argentina
July 21st, 2010
The President of Argentina has now signed the marriage equality law. The first same-sex marriages will occur in August.
Argentina legalizes same-sex marriage
July 15th, 2010
At about 4:00 am this morning, the Argentine Senate voted 33-27 to enact marriage equality. The bill now goes to President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who has in recent days spoken out in support of the bill.
And so Argentina makes ten:
2006 South Africa
Updates from Jim B: Here is video of reaction as the crowd of supporters watch live television coverage in Buenos Aires:
Here is President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, speaking as Argentina’s “fierce advocate” a few days ago:
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.
A Sweet Marriage Ad from Argentina
July 12th, 2010
What does one wear to a machination of the Father of Lies?
July 10th, 2010
From the increasingly histrionic Catholic news site, LiveSiteNews:
Argentina’s number one Catholic prelate, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, is calling upon the priests of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires to bring their flocks to an upcoming protest against homosexual “marriage,” which is currently under consideration by the nation’s senate.
“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God,” writes Bergoglio in a letter sent to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, where he is archbishop. “We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Which makes me think, if I’m ever invited to something so important as to require the direct coordination of Old Scratch himself, I should dress up. Do you think red Prada slippers are appropriate for a gay wedding? After all, the Pope wears them to all his formal functions.
Argentina Senate committee opposes marriage bill
July 6th, 2010
An influential senate committee did not recommend that the full Senate approve the marriage equality bill. (On-Top Magazine)
Eight members of the Senate General Law Committee joined its chairwoman, Senator Liliana Negre de Alonso, in recommending that a gay marriage bill approved in May by Argentina’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies (la Camara de Diputados), be rejected in the Senate.
Six committee members voted to recommend the bill’s approval. Another five members advised senators to reconsider a bill rejected in May by the lower house that would recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. That legislation, however, bans gay couples from adopting.
While supporters are still expressing confidence, this committee vote is believed to be influential. The full Senate will vote next Wednesday.
Marriage debate begins in Argentine Senate
June 1st, 2010
From the Buenos Aires Herald:
According to several sources, the debate is scheduled to start at 4:00pm.
Several leaders are pledged to be present, such as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Argentine Federation President María Rachid, and the head of La Fulana community centre Claudia Castrosin Verdú.
The bill aiming at allowing same-sex couples to get married posts the support of the biggest caucuses’ heads in the Upper House, Victory Front’s Miguel Angel Pichetto and Radical Gerardo Morales.
Then the Senate will go on tour (On Top Magazine)
After Tuesday’s debut in the Senate, the committee will take its gay marriage debate on the road, with stops planned for the cities of Salta, Tucuman, San Juan and Mendoza starting on June 14, and lasting until June 28. The cities are all provincial capitals and among Argentina’s largest by population.
The full Senate is scheduled to take up the bill on July 14, a Wednesday, where the measure faces an uncertain future. The bill has an equal number of supporters and opponents in the chamber, according to a poll conducted by news agency DyN, but 17 senators have remained mum on their position.
Argentina’s Senate begins consideration of marriage equality bill
May 18th, 2010
The General Law Committee of Argentina’s Senate began debate on the marriage equality bill passed by the House earlier this month. The committee room was too small for the crowd. Mostly, today’s agenda included administrative and planning issues. (Parlamentario.com google translation).
Shortly before 17 on Tuesday began the session of the General Law Committee chaired by the San Luis Liliana Negre de Alonso, remembering login to set a timetable for discussion of the project.
In this context, the holder of the official bank, Miguel Angel Pichetto, found that one month and ten days of debate “right.” This was marked the first half of July as the date for the treatment of the topic in the campus. That is, as is anticipated Parlamentario.com, it would be trying to last the World Cup in South Africa.
The meeting of the commission had perfect attendance of all members, as well as senators who are members and not the general public, whereupon it was decided that the next meetings are conducted not in the Hall Eva Peron, but in places wider.
Argentine priest endorses marriage equality
May 12th, 2010
Any week now the Senate in Argentina will debate and vote on the law passed by the House which authorizes same-sex marriages. One of the principal opponents to marriage equality in Argentina is the Roman Catholic Church, the nation’s dominant faith.
However, a prominent priest in Mendoza appears to have provided the tool necessary for separating the religious position of Catholics from their civil law. (Los Andes – google translation)
A priest caused a stir within the Catholic Church after he declared on television that is in favor of the bill allowing gay marriage and that these days being debated in Congress.
It is the father Vicente Reale, who has an opinion column in the Channel 9 news. In that TV spot, the priest explained, referring to unions between persons of the same sex is right that the State legislate for a situation that is undeniable and proclaimed himself in favor of equal rights.
Argentina’s House Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bill
May 5th, 2010
After several fits and starts with five same-sex couples becoming married after court action (and several of those couples seeing their marriages annulled upon appeal), the Argentina House of Deputies approved a bill granting marriage equality on a 125-109 vote, with 6 abstentions and 16 absences, Blabeando reports. The vote came after more than eleven hours of debate. According to Maria Rachid, Director of the Argentinian LGBT Federation (FALGBT), this marks the first time that a national legislative body has voted in favor of same-sex marriage in all of Latin America.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to be a much tougher challenge for passage.
Argentina’s legislature to debate marriage equality next week
April 28th, 2010
Buenos Aires Herald is reporting that the nation’s Lower House will take up marriage equality next week:
As for the same sex marriage debate, Rossi called for a special session to be held next Wednesday in order to discuss the controversial bill which allows it.
“We are calling for a new session to be held next week, on Wednesday at 10:00am with the only purpose of debating the same sex marriage,” Rossi assured.
As regards this bill, the resolution which the Family and General Legislation committees have issued modifies the Civil Code and replaces the terms “man and woman” for general words implying no sex.
First Same-Sex Marriage in Argentina Anulled
April 15th, 2010
The status of same-sex marriage in Argentina remains murky. Blabeando reports that a judge in the city of Tierra Del Fuego has declared the marriage of Alex Freyre and José Maria Di Bello is “nonexistent” under the constitution and has annulled it. Freyre and Di Bello were the first same-sex couple in Latin America to marry last December following a long and complicated path to the registrar’s office.
Four same-sex couples have married altogether in Argentina, but another of those marriages has been annulled by a Buenos Aires court as well, leaving two legally married same-sex couples. One of those couples still married is Uruguay native Norma Castillo and Ramona Arevalo of Argentina, who became Latin American’s first lesbian married couple last Friday in Buenos Aires.
The race for eighth (and ninth and tenth)
April 14th, 2010
With Italy now out of the running, the big question is which nation will be the eighth to recognize same-sex marriage. The contestants are:
Portugal – the legislature passed the bill. The President sent it to the supreme court which approved the bill. And now he has until about the end of the month to either veto or sign it. It vetoed, there are probably enough votes to overturn. The time frame is between immediately and early May.
Nepal – it is believed that same-sex marriage will be included in the new constitution. This should be in place no later than May 28, 2010.
Iceland – the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News is reporting:
The Sigurdardóttir administration presented the bill to Parliament on March 23. The bill’s passage is expected soon, and same-sex marriage could become legal as early as June 27
Luxembourg – the Minister of Justice said in January that marriage would be legalized by the legislature’s summer break.
Argentina – Although the administration intends to legalize marriage, without a law in place several judges are fighting over whether to grant couples the right to marry. In addition to the male couples previously reported, two women have now legally married in Buenos Aires (Santiago Times):
Two women that were exiled during the last Argentine military dictatorship (1976/1983) were married Friday in Buenos Aires, the first wedding among lesbians in the country, reported the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Federation of Argentina, or FALGBT.
Norma Castillo, from Uruguay, and Ramona Arevalo, Argentine, were married by Judge Elena Liberatori after having requested legal protection within the framework of the campaign “Same right, same names,” which the LGBT Argentine Federation has been carrying out for several months. They are both 67 years old and have been a couple for over 30 years.
Slovenia – the Family Law Bill does appear to continue to move forward but it is difficult to figure out just where things stand.
Cyprus – this tiny island seems to have dropped out of the race. Earlier this week the Cypriot government continued pondering the issue but the language now seems to focus on “partnerships”. (Cyprus Mail)
THE GOVERNMENT will take “seriously” the Ombudswoman’s latest report recommending legal reforms to allow same-sex partnerships, said Interior Ministry Permanent Secretary Lazaros Savvides yesterday.
“No decision has been taken. It is something we have to study a bit further. We have not closed the issue, it remains open,” he said.
Savvides told the Sunday Mail that the various departments will continue to examine the issue and reconvene after June to discuss the matter.
Status of Buenos Aires marriage uncertain
March 10th, 2010
The Catholic News Agency is reporting that the Buenos Aires marriage between Damian Bernath and Jorge Salazar last week is void:
On Monday, Judge Felix Gustavo de Igarzabal of Buenos Aires reversed a decision which allowed two gay men to marry at the city’s civil registry office on March 3. In his ruling the judge said no marriage took place “because of the absence of the institution’s structural elements,” in this case a man and a woman, and thus declared the act to be invalid.
We hear that the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case, so this may not be the final resolution.
International Marriage Update
March 4th, 2010
Several nations are competing to become the eighth to offer full civil marriage recognition to same sex couples. It is likely that at least three, possibly four, will change their laws by summer.
Portugal – The parliament has now finalized the language of the bill and around the first of the month sent it to President Cavaco Silva. Silva is a member of the PSD party and has spoken in the past in opposition to same-sex marriage recognition. It is uncertain what he will do.
Silva has four choices. He can sign the bill, send it to the Supreme Court within 8 days, or refuse to sign it and return it to Parliament within 20 days (a form of veto). Prime Minister José Sócrates has stated that he has the requisite two-thirds vote to overturn a Presidential veto.
Nepal – This Asian nation is scheduled to implement a new constitution by May 28, 2010. This new constitution is reported to have marriage equality provisions. Nepal has been capitalizing on this change in hopes of increasing tourism.
Luxembourg – This tiny duchy has had civil partnership laws since 2004. However, at the end of January, Minister of Justice François Biltgen announced that the nation would legalize civil gay marriage before Parliament’s summer break. Gay couples will not be allowed to adopt.
Iceland – This vast island with its hardy but tiny population has had registered partnerships since 1996. The current government, helmed by lesbian Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, is committed to changing the law to enact marriage equality. Although no time line is currently reported, as of 18 November 2009, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights confirmed that the government was working on such an act.
This is not likely to be a highly controversial issue in Iceland. Only one lawmaker voted against the 1996 partnerships and the 2006 upgrade was passed unanimously.
Argentina – There have now been two legal same-sex marriages in that country opening up a precedent, if not exactly law. However, the current governmental leadership has indicated support for marriage equality and there are bills currently under consideration. Although movement forward was scheduled for last November, but parliamentary procedures were used to delay the decision until 2010. The two judicially authorized marriages may be seen as impetus for the legislature to enact marriage as a matter of legislation rather than concede to judicial mandate.
Cyprus – The Attorney-general’s office, Law Commissioner, Ombudswoman, and senior representatives of the relevant government ministries will meet this month to discuss whether the island off the coast of Turkey and Syria will adopt marriage equality.
To make the race even more uncertain, the European Court of Human Rights heard testimony last week from an Austrian couple suing for marriage rights. On Tuesday, the court determined that Poland could not treat a gay man and his partner differently than a married couple. It is expected to announce within the next few months whether European states can deny marriage to same-sex couples or whether civil unions, such as those adopted by Austria at the first of the year, were sufficient to protect equal rights.
So we see movement in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and at the most northern and most southern parts of the globe. And, of course, we may always be surprised by an unexpected nation taking this step, as well as determinations in the European . But, whichever moves first, it will certainly be a spring to remember.
Slovenia – This eastern neighbor of Italy, and former portion of communist Yugoslavia, has already begun the process of changing their laws to allow for marriage equality. Their legislature voted yesterday to advance the bill.
Argentina’s second same-sex marriage takes place in Buenos Aires
March 3rd, 2010
Damian Bernath and Jorge Salazar “married on Wednesday at a Civil Registry office, and decided to do it completely privately,” said Maria Rachid, who leads the Argentine Federation of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered.
It’s quite some week for marriage at capital cities in the Americas.