Did Uruguay Just Beat the US on Gay Rights?

You know, I’m finding it hard to think of a better argument for gay adoption rights, and for gay rights as a whole, than the one I read spoken of in this article where the archbishop of Montevideo, Nicolas Cotugno, here arguing against Uruguay’s gay adoption law before it passed late Wednesday, said the following:

“It’s not about religion, philosophy or sociology. It’s something which is mainly about the respect of human nature itself.”

And even if those words were not meant favorably, how right he is. The argument over gay rights is about respecting human nature and our capacity to love. And Uruguay have just taken another step forward in proving that they do value their entire population and not just a narrow band of it – they’ve granted lesbian and gay people the right to adopt.
Allowing gay adoptions has put secular Uruguay on the leading edge of gay rights in Latin America. 17 out of 23 senators voted in favor of legalizing gay adoption, building on the advocacy that the Chamber of Representatives showed earlier in the year when they too approved a counterpart bill on a vote of 40-13.

President Tabaré Vazquez and his Broad Front coalition have supported the move from the outset. They already legalized gay civil unions in 2007 and ended the ban on lesbians and gays serving in the military earlier this year.

As this New York Times article points out, the rights of adoption only extend to single gay people and not couples (though they are no doubt aware that many of those applying for adoptions will be one half of a domestic partnership) because gay marriage in Uruguay still remains illegal.

There is no indication that this latter point will be changed any time soon.  However, the Roman Catholic Church and its supporters are deeply unhappy.

Francisco Gallinal of the National Party of Uruguay said:
“The family is the bedrock of society and this measure weakens it.”

I’d argue the opposite. The lawmakers of Uruguay have only strengthened the family unit by creating the possibility of more families, more diversity, and, importantly, more people that are qualified to adopt children and give them a loving home, something which can only benefit those children and society as a whole. 

This might also serve as a stark wake-up call for US lawmakers who still have in place “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” the military policy banning openly gay service personnel, and, in many states such as Florida and Arkansas, still hold firm to bans on gay adoption.

Why has Uruguay been able to take such a strong position on gay civil rights? Some attribute it to the fact that Uruguay has true separation of religion and state (although, with abortion still being illegal in Uruguay one might say this is debatable).

Should we then dare to ask: has America’s dividing line between religion and state (as per the Establishment Clause) been blurred? Have your say in the poll below.

At any length, a good day for gay rights in Latin America, and also for those children in Uruguay who are desperate to be adopted into a loving family.

Take Action:

Tell President Obama to keep his promise to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Kelly Stern.


Mary Latela
Mary Latela8 years ago

Hooray for showing the way..... when will we learn to accept one another?

Skeeve S.
Skeeve S8 years ago

Pertaining to your comment on 9/11/09 4:09AM; Sorry this reponse took so long.

Let me examine one of your statements: "You don't have to have a religion to have morals."

Isn't this a circular statement? Rephrasing it, this is like saying "You don't have to have a religion to have a religion". I do see your point, though. What you are trying to say is that it is not necessary to believe the Bible, or the Koran, or really anything else to still have a moral code.

It might surprise you that I would agree. But belief is not the issue, TRUTH is. I submit that if you have a moral code, you must have justification for that belief otherwise your moral code is merely arbitrary and relative. Therefore, there must be an absolute source for your moral code and it must be absolutely true. (Note that this is independent from whether people *believe* it to be true or not).

I have reached the conclusion that the absolute source is the Bible because all other major candidates fail internal critique. (They are self-refuting or internally inconsistent)

What is fascinating to me is that the Bible also clearly explains why people can have a code of morals without ever having read the Bible. Romans 1:18-21 essentially states that the truth about God is known to every person instinctually. So, can you have morals without religion - Yes! But only because the Bible is true.

David B.
David B8 years ago

you know,first and foremost you have to believe in you"god".which i don't!if i have to believe in something it would be a "MotherGodess" someone who didn't allow for rape and murder and destructionin her name??
someone who didn't believe insubjergation of women.your so called religion is foul discusting and should be outlawed from the face of the earth!i think the main reason why that bitchop or what ever he is is upset is because he looks at tthem as competision for the priests!!congrautulations on passing a fair law Uruguay ! thank you as always Steve W

Sarah D.
Sarah D8 years ago

The bible also says, and implies, that homosexuality is only wrong between men, or more like it describes it as "if a man lay with a man as he would lay with a woman they are both damned." But it makes one wonder, if homosexuality is wrong, why do the homophobes constantly have gay and lesbian sex on the brain? Are they secretly gay/lesbian/bisexual themselves?

Sarah D.
Sarah D8 years ago

In one of the original bibles it says a father can sell his daughter into slavery, the bible also says the father can deal with his daughter if she upsets her master. The bible also says that a woman must marry her rapist and give birth to his children after the rapist pays her father a dowry. Do we abide by those?

The bible also says, and implies, that homosexuality is only wrong between men. But it makes one wonder, if homosexuality is wrong, why do the homophobes constantly have gay and lesbian sex on the brain? Are they secretly gay/lesbian/bisexual themselves?

Just because the bibel says, doesn't mean it's so. If God meant for LGBT's to be hated and or ridiculed and possibly murdered, he'd put a big sign on their head saying "Kill Me!" or "I Am Bad!" or "Kick Me!"

This is why my mom raised me agnostic and allowed me to choose if I wanted to be religious or not.

There's a lot that gays can provide for homeless babies and children. My moms did for me. They gave me everything I wanted and endless love. My biological mom, who was a strict Christian, wanted to abort me, because she didn't want her church knowing she'd slept with a married man. My mom adopted me, she was with another woman at the time. Growing up, as far as I was concerned, they were my parents and I wouldn't trade them for any other parents in the world.

roberto c.
robert m8 years ago

I am sick and tire of this religious people involving their dunb religion in here this is abot civil rights that are being taken away from people and we do not do that in California im also sick of people using the stupid bible as an excuse to go against homosexuality since when did your so called god brough the subject of homosexuality and where un your so called bible did your god say hate and separate matrimonies but religious people which im sick of keep using the bible as excuse to go against homosexuality and my ? is why it also says a child who misbehaves bad must be stoned to death and no one interprets that i don't see a lot of stoning its pure hypocrasy people say they are following their so called bible and actually they are doing the oppossite come on CALIFORNIA we should be ashemed Uruguay just beat us lets stoped violating our constitution and lets END this HATE come on stand with me on the side of LOVE not in the side of hate lets fight to end HATE EQUALITY FOR ALL

Sarah D.
Sarah D8 years ago

Here's another question for you Karen, which version of the bible says that homosexuality is wrong?

What era was homosexuality labeled as wrong?

And where in the bible does it say that gays/lesbians and bisexuals can't have children whether they be adopted or via artificial insemination?

Also, what era did it become commonplace that love and marriage were only valid between a man and a woman?

Sarah D.
Sarah D8 years ago

And in case you didn't know Karen, teaching your kids to hate people because they are gay, lesbian or bisexual IS child abuse.

Sarah D.
Sarah D8 years ago

"I can say it a million times GAY people are againts God's laws."

How? Because they're in love. Yes Karen, you are selfish. You are selfish for using your religion to take away people's rights.

"I believe in God and follow the Bible."

Guess what, God is bisexual.

Also, in addition to being a child of same-sex parents, I also go to a gay/lesbian synagogue, with a gay rabbi who is married to a woman and has a beautiful son.

"In fact I thank God every day for making me who I am."

You thank God for making you an ignorant homophobe who relies on a book to tell you what's what?

How many gays have you actually met, in person, and known?

How many same-sex parents have you actually met, in person, and known?

How many children of same-sex parents have you met, in person, and known.

Better yet, how prepared are you to tell to a crowd of children of same-sex parents, with their parents there, that their parents are abominations?

Karen R.
Karen R8 years ago

I am not ashamed of myself... I stand up for what I belive. I believe in God and follow the Bible. I can say it a million times GAY people are againts God's laws. That's my opinion, what I believe.

I don't fell bad with the way I think... In fact I thank God every day for making me who I am. I will defend HIM and his laws everywere.