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Uruguay poised to legalize same-sex marriage; lower house approves law by wide margin

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Uruguay moved a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage on Tuesday after lawmakers in its lower house of Congress approved a single law governing marriage for both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

The measure, which was passed by a wide margin, now goes to the Senate where it is expected to be approved. President Jose Mujica said he plans to sign it into law early next year.

“This is not a homosexual or gay marriage law. It is a measure to equalize the institution independent of the sex of the couple,” said Julio Bango, one of the bill’s authors.

The law would also allow all couples, gay or straight decide whose surname goes first when they name their children, breaking with a tradition that has held for centuries across Latin America, where in nearly every country, laws require people to give their children two last names, and the father’s comes first, reported Associated Press.

The Roman Catholic Church is opposed to the proposal, but the church has little political influence in secular Uruguay.

The measure was approved by a vote of 81-18.

In recent years, Uruguay has moved to allow same-sex civil unions, adoption by gay couples, and to allow gay members of the armed forces.

The new proposal would make Uruguay the second nation in Latin America and the 12th in the world to legalize gay marriage, after The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark.

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5 more reader comments:

  1. Awesome!

    Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 12:24am

    Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 1:05am
  3. ho

    Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 2:45am
  4. I think this is great! But still waiting on the U.S. as a whole. So many countries have recognized equality for their people -yet a country that is based on freedom-can’t or won’t federally free or recognIze an entire portion of it’s people for, pretty much purely “religious”reasons. Ironic, since we also have or are supposed to have freedom of religion and not supposed to be governed by religious law or dogma…especially not one specific religion. No religion should be brought into this, especially as a point for debate. Yet that seems to be the only thing I hear from politicians opposing it.

    Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:30am
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    Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:09am