Legislation that would see Uruguay legalize same-sex marriage is expected to be introduced this coming week, continuing Uruguay’s forward trend of formally recognizing LGBT rights.
Uruguay saw the legalization of civil unions for same-sex couples in 2007, making it the first Latin American country to do so. Uruguay also offers same-sex couple adoption rights and has lifted its ban on gay troops serving in the military. In addition to this, Uruguay has a rather groundbreaking law that sets out a legal framework for trans people seeking to change how their gender is recorded on official documents.
But, in terms of marriage equality, lawmakers are now keen to take the next step.
“We do not focus so much on the issue of gay marriage but of equal marriage regardless of sex, gender or religion,” El Mercurio quotes Rep. Sebastian, one of those involved with the writing of the bill, saying.
The bill proposes a change to the country’s civil code amending laws that refer to “husband and wife” to the more gender neutral “spouses” or “conjugal partner.”
The legislation also tackles the concept of second-parent adoptions, that is to say adoptions by one half of a couple that is not biologically related to the child. The legislation would allow a biologically-unrelated parent in a same-sex marriage to assume parental responsibilities and to access all the associated parental rights.
There are hopes the legislation could be passed by the end of the year given that legislators report little resistance within the ranks of the center-left leaning majority in the Chamber of Deputies. A left-leaning majority also exists in the Senate.
Argentina legalized same-sex marriage last year, becoming the first nation in the region to do so, but not the first jurisdiction. That honor goes to Mexico City which began recognizing same-sex marriages just ahead of Argentina in 2010. Subsequent court decisions also determined that same-sex marriages carried out in Mexico City must be honored by jurisdictions throughout Mexico, which, while not technically legalizing gay marriage nationwide, gave same-sex couples a greater scope to have their partnerships recognized.
A measure to legalize marriage equality was introduced in Brazil last week. Read more about that effort here.
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