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Posts for August, 2013

Marriage Equality Begins in Uruguay

Jim Burroway

August 6th, 2013

Rodrigo Borda, 39, and Sergio Miranda, 45, became the first gay couple to show up at a registrar’s office in Uruguay to register their marriage after legislation granting marriage equality passed last April.

“We are celebrating it and sharing it because this law establishes that we all have rights. There are no first and second class citizens,” said Miranda.

The men said they will pick a date for their actual wedding later this month.

They won’t be the first same-sex couple to marry though. Another couple received special permission to jump ahead in line because one of them is at a local hospital dying of cancer:

“It was very emotional,” said Luisa Salaberry, the civil registry worker who officiated at the hospital wedding.

She said that the ceremony was intimate and that the government waived the usual 10 days of bureaucracy because the patient’s cancer was so advanced.

“They had been waiting for the law to take effect so that they could get married,” said Salaberry, who did not identify the couple.

Uruguay legalizes marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

April 11th, 2013

Last night the Uruguay Chamber of Deputies reconfirmed their vote of last December and, following last week’s vote in the Senate, the legislature of Uruguay legalized equality in that nation. (Independent)

Supporters of the law, who had filled the public seats in the legislative building, erupted in celebration on Wednesday when the results were announced. The bill received the backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies present.

“We are living a historic moment,” said Federico Grana, a leader of the Black Sheep Collective, a gay rights group that drafted the proposal. “In terms of the steps needed, we calculate that the first gay couples should be getting married 90 days after the promulgation of the law, or in the middle of July.”

Today or tomorrow, France should join the Equality Nations:

2001 Netherlands
2003 Belgium
2005 Spain
2005 Canada
2006 South Africa
2009 Norway
2009 Sweden
2010 Portugal
2010 Iceland
2010 Argentina
2012 Denmark
2013 Uruguay

Uruguay Senate Approves Marriage Equality Bill

Jim Burroway

April 2nd, 2013

Uruguay’s Senate, after several hours of debate, approved a bill which would provide marriage equality to same-sex couples in a 23-8 vote.

Sen. Rafael Michelini opened the hours long debate by declaring that same-sex marriage represented a “radical change” that future generations may compare to the abolition of slavery. “Of course I cannot compare it to finaly abolishing slavery, because they were fighting that for hundres of years, but for the purposes of a person acquiring rights, is it not a kind of liberation?” Opposition Senator Francisco Gallinal objected to characterizing same-sex marriage as “marriage equality,” warning that other members of society may demand the legalization of polygamy. The bill was strongly supported by the ruling Broad Front party, while the main opposition parties allowed their members a conscience vote.

The Senate version of the bill is slightly different from the version approved by the Chamber of Deputies in December. The bill now goes back to the lower house for final approval. President José Mujica has said he will signed the bill into law when it reaches his desk.

Marriage update – South America

Timothy Kincaid

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.

Uruguay deputies overwhelmingly support equality

Timothy Kincaid

December 12th, 2012

BBC:

Uruguay has moved closer to legalising gay marriage after the lower house of Congress approved a law making all marriages equal.

The measure, which was passed by a wide margin, now goes to the Senate where it is expected to be approved.

It would make Uruguay the second Latin American country after Argentina to allow gay marriages.

Well, maybe it would. The bill goes to the Senate some time next year and will wind its way through the process by the end of 2013. Mexico may or may not rocket-propel its constitutional marriage process and have nation-wide marriage rights sooner.

Or, as History has a whimsical streak, the courts in, say, Paraguay or the legislators in Chile may just unexpectedly – as a matter of simple quiet justice – step ahead of both of them.

Uruguay votes on marriage today

Timothy Kincaid

December 11th, 2012

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Uruguay’s legislature, is slated to vote on marriage equality today. The bill is expected to pass and we’ll notify you when we know more.

Uruguay votes on marriage on Tuesday

Timothy Kincaid

December 6th, 2012

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Uruguay’s legislature, is slated to vote on marriage equality on Tuesday, December 11. Activists report that the vote count predicts a clear victory. The Senate (upper house) is expected to take up the matter next summer.

Uruguay currently offers civil unions to same-sex couples.

Uruguay considering gay marriage bill

Timothy Kincaid

November 14th, 2012

Uruguay has, since 2007, offered protection and recognition to same sex couples under a civil unions bill. It is now considering a law to offer full marriage. (AP)

Uruguay’s congress is considering a gay marriage law that would give same-sex couples all the same rights and responsibilities of heterosexual married couples.

The proposed “marriage equality” law would change Uruguay’s nearly-century-old civil code and give married gays and lesbians all the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual married couples, including the possibility of adopting children.

It was drafted by gay rights activists in the so-called “Black Sheep Collective” and now has the support of lawmakers in the ruling Broad Front coalition, which decided Wednesday to debate the measure next week in the House of Deputies’ constitutional commission.

Naturally the Catholic Church opposes it.

And it what surely has to be considered for some award for truly astonishing arrogance and supremist attitudes, Bishop Jaime Fuentes had this to say: “Giving this kind of union the same obligations and rights as marriage would represent serious discrimination against a married man and woman.”

Oh, gosh, how dreadfully unfair. Idiot.

Couple recognition in Latin America

Timothy Kincaid

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

Marriage bills proposed in Brazil and Uruguay

Timothy Kincaid

April 9th, 2011

On Top Magazine is reporting that two South American neighbors will be reviewing laws to legalize same-sex marriage. The largest, Brazil, currently has no nationwide recognition of same-sex couples.

A group of 171 senators and deputies in Brazil have joined a “Parliamentary Front for the LGBT Community,” which will promote the legalization of gay marriage, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

The effort is helmed by Senator Marta Suplicy and Congressman Jean Wyllys, Brazil’s first openly gay lawmaker.

The discussion surrounding this endeavor will well serve gay Brazilians as it introduces and debates the concept of equality. But Uruguay, sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina, where marriage equality is the law, may have a greater chance of success. It was the first to adopt nation-wide recognition of civil unions.

A bill that would legalize marriage between two members of the same sex is expected to be introduced in Uruguay next week, La Nacion reported.

The bill was drafted with the help of the gay right group Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep) and is being sponsored by Representative Sebastian Sabini of the Frente Amplio, the nation’s ruling party.

The bill also proposes to reform divorce in the country, making it easier for couples to end their marriage.

Uruguay Legalizes Adoption

Timothy Kincaid

September 9th, 2009

We told you earlier that Uruguay was in the process of legalizing adoption by same-sex couples. It appears it has now passed the final hurdle. (AFP)

Uruguay lawmakers Wednesday adopted a trailblazing law allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children, in an unprecedented move for Latin America.

Senator Margarita Percovich told AFP the contentious bill had passed its final hurdle with 17 out of 23 senators voting in favor of the legislation.

Adoption Legalized in Germany and Uruguay

Timothy Kincaid

August 27th, 2009

Gay marriage – or some version of partner recognition – are at the front burner of gay rights in the US. And while a few states disallow adoptions by gay couples or individuals, most states – even socially conservative states – allow at least one half of a gay couple to adopt children.

Interestingly, in the rest of the world marriage rights are less of an issue than adoption rights. Many nations that offer some measure of couple recognition to not allow adoption by those gay couples.

But now Germany, which has recognized “Life Partnerships” since 2001, will allow adoption (Lifesite - an anti-gay news source)

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has declared it legal for homosexual partners to adopt children. The court decided in favour of a woman in the southern city of Schweinfurt who wanted to adopt the now three-year-old child of her female partner, with the consent of the father and social services.

Homosexuals were allowed by a 2001 law to register their liaisons as “life partnerships”. Under the law, persons in such legal arrangements are allowed to adopt the biological children of their partners, but the law still prohibits adoption where there is no legal or biological relationship.

And it appears that Uruguay, which has recognized civil unions since 2007, will join them (Herald Sun)

LAWMAKERS in Uruguay have voted to allow adoptions by gays and lesbians in a first for Latin America, an opposition deputy says.

“They just approved it by 40 votes out of 53,” said Jaime Trobo of the opposition National Party today.

There are still formalities, but it is assumed that this will become law.

Uruguay To Remove Ban On Gays In Military, U.S. Still Dithering

Jim Burroway

May 14th, 2009

Uruguay — Uruguay! — is about to lift its ban on gays in the military. Defense Minister Jose Bayardi has signed a decree lifting the ban imposed by the 1973-85 military dictatorship.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama promises to study the move for the U.S. military. He’ll get right back to you on it.

Guess Who Else Isn’t On Board With the U.N. Resolution to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 5th, 2008

Mark, at Slapped Upside the Head, has a good take on yesterday’s news that the Vatican is opposing a U.N. resolution calling on member states to rescind laws outlawing homosexuality — which in some countries includes the death penalty. We discussed the Vatican’s intrinsically disordered logic here. Mark has his own take here.

There are a lot of countries which have already signed on to the declaration, including: Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Those last three are rather surprising. Also surprising co-sponsors are three African countries: Gabon, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. That’s quite an impressive list.

So, who’s missing? Well, let’s see. Oh look: the United States and Australia.

Marriage Rights Around the World

Timothy Kincaid

May 15th, 2008

The following countries offer some form of recognition to same-sex couples:

Marriage

Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, United States (Massachusetts, California)

Civil Unions

New Zealand, Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Argentina (Buenos Aires, Rio Negro), Mexico (Coahuila), Uruguay, United States (Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey)

Registered Partnership or Domestic Partnership

Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, , Slovenia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy (City of Padua), Switzerland, Hungary, Australia (Tasmania), United States (Maine, Washington, Oregon)

Other Methods of Limited Recognition

France (PACS), Germany (Life Partnership), Croatia (Law of Same-Sex Relationships), Andorra (Stable Union of a Couple), Mexico (Mexico City – PACS), Colombia (Common-law marriage inheritance rights), Israel (Limited recognition of foreign legal arrangements), United States (Hawaii – Reciprocal Benefits; New York – recognition of out-of-state legal marriages)

Although recognition is in a rapid state of change, this is my best understanding of the current rights provided. Several nations are in the process of adding or revising recognition.

Civil Union in Uruguay

Timothy Kincaid

April 18th, 2008

Yahoo news reports that “Uruguay holds Latin America’s first gay wedding“.

That, of course, is not true as the ceremony was a civil union rather than a wedding and as there are regions in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico in which civil unions have already been performed. Further, as the law has been in place since January 1, it is at least possible that other unpublicized civil unions have been performed.

Nevertheless, we wish the couple much happiness.

Judge Estrella Perez officiated the civil union between Adrian Figuera, 38, and actor and theater director Juan Carlos Moretti, 67, in a courtroom before a small group of friends and family, as witnessed by an AFP reporter.

Moretti later told AFP that after living together for 14 years, he and Figuera thought their marriage was “a matter of justice and a step forward for Uruguayan society.”

See also:
Civil Union In Uruguay
Uruguay Approves Civil Unions
Uruguay To Offer Civil Unions

Uruguay Approves Civil Unions

Timothy Kincaid

December 18th, 2007

uruguay.pngIt’s a good day for same-sex couples. Following up on Hungary, Reuters reports that Uruguay is also now offering its gay couples protection under the law.

Uruguay’s Congress legalized civil unions for homosexual couples on Tuesday in the first nationwide law of its kind in Latin America.

Under the new law, gay and straight couples will be eligible to form civil unions after living together for five years. They will have rights similar to those granted to married couples on such matters as inheritance, pensions and child custody.

Uruguay’s Senate passed the bill unanimously after the lower house approved it last month, a congressional spokesman said. The country’s center-left president is expected to sign it into law.

Although this was expected, its nice to se unanimous Senate support.

See also:
Civil Union In Uruguay
Uruguay Approves Civil Unions
Uruguay To Offer Civil Unions

Uruguay To Offer Civil Unions

Timothy Kincaid

November 29th, 2007

uruguay.png
Reuters is reporting that Civil Unions are coming to tiny South American country Uruguay.

Uruguay will legalize civil unions for homosexuals and heterosexuals next month, making it the first Latin American nation to treat gay and straight couples alike, a lawmaker said Thursday.

Deputies in the early hours of Thursday passed legislation allowing gay and straight couples to form civil unions after living together for at least five years.

The law must return to the Senate for revisions but is expected to be in place by mid-December.

See also:
Civil Union In Uruguay
Uruguay Approves Civil Unions
Uruguay To Offer Civil Unions