Marriage Equality Law Proposed in Uruguay

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.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to -Marlith-.


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Progressive nations in Latin America, while the big one in North America (not talking about Canada here) is on it's way back to medieval times. LGBT, women, children, workers, etc are all in danger of being outlawed. Proud of Argentine, Uruguay, Brazil. The latter the country I plan to move to.

Betsy M.
Betsy M6 years ago

How very civilized.

Alicia Guevara
Alicia Guevara6 years ago

Hope they approve it.

Anna L.
Anna L6 years ago

great to hear!!! Australia please follow!

Bruce V.

Cheers for Uruguay and other countries who truly believe in democracy and practice it. Much to be learned by Norte Americanos who do so much talking about democracy but not actually come close to living it.

Valarie S.
Valarie Snell6 years ago

Good for Uruguay!

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S6 years ago

Since the US has not been able to continue its repression of Latin America with the assassination of good leaders & the imposition, propping up & defending of brutal right wing dictators, which it did for decades, causing so much misery, torture, death, oppression, lack of freedoms etc, the people of Latin Am have gained their freedom despite Uncle Sam (the only good thing to come about from the US from being overextended in trying to force its Corporate 'Values' on Iraq & Afghanistan et al) & they are bent on throwing off all forms of the oppression that has suffocated them for so long & that includes supporting the freedom & equality of ALL their peoples.

Bravo Uruguay! The had a right wing dictatorship for decades, kept in power by the US, but now they have freedom they have voted in a Socialist government & are pressing ahead with extending that freedom to all. Living under a right wing dictatorship here in Spain also made people very leery of any form of repression against anyone, so well over 80% of Spaniards supported the Socialist government here several years ago in finally giving full equality, including 'marriage' to LGBT people. Maybe when the people of the US finally get tired of living under their right wing Corporatocracy they will throw it off & become a truly free democracy & finally give total equality to all its citizens, as the Constitution & Bill of Rights say, but have never been granted.

Alice B.
Alice B6 years ago

Smart - and isn't it fascinating to see all these Latin American countries with conservative Catholic Church leaders forging ahead for LGBTQ marriage rights?!! WAY out ahead of WASP-led USA here where we're going backward in so many ways....

Roxana C.
Roxana Cortijo6 years ago

Great news!!!

Roxane Connor
Roxane Connor6 years ago

Good news.