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Americas

Argentine Senate set to vote on gay marriage bill

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-14

Senators in Buenos Aires were set to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make Argentina the first Latin America country to recognise gay marriage. The bill, which cleared the lower chamber in May, has been strongly condemned by the Catholic Church.

 

AFP - Lawmakers in Buenos Aires were to vote Wednesday on a bill which would make Argentina the first country in Latin America to recognize gay marriage.
  
The measure to grant homosexual couples marriage rights cleared a first hurdle in the lower chamber in May, but Senate passage is likely to be much tougher.
  
Roman Catholic church officials, who have branded the bill "the devil's project," led mass protests against it on Tuesday.
  
Earlier in the week, Catholic officials across Argentina, where more than 90 percent of the population are members of the church, read a message from Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio urging the faithful to oppose the bill.
  
The bishops of the central province of La Pampa also published a document defending the traditional family of "a mom and a dad, naturally endowed with the remarkable wealth of fertility."
  
The Senate vote comes after a half-year of heated debate, after a gay couple succeeded in exchanging wedding vows in Argentina's southernmost province of Tierra del Fuego.
  
Argentines Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello got married during a ceremony on December 28 after a Buenos Aires judge disallowed the marriage ceremony in the Argentine capital. Six other lesbian and gay couples followed suit, unleashing a major legal battle.
  
Since then, various judges have tried to annul the gay marriages but the couples have appealed the rulings, vowing to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
  
Proposals to change Argentina's civil code have been debated since last year, with the lower Chamber of Deputies finally approving a gay marriage measure two months ago.
  
Tens of thousands of people took part in a church-sponsored, anti-gay marriage demonstration Tuesday outside Congress, holding signs including "We want a daddy and a mommy," and "Say yes to the real family."
  
Meanwhile, some 200 pro-gay marriage counter demonstrators gathered at Buenos Aires' iconic Obelisco monument, banging pots and blowing vuvuzelas, in the "Make Noise for Equality" campaign of Argentina's Anti-discrimination Institute, Inadi.

 

Date created : 2010-07-14

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