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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations
 
Cheers in Montevideo
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 04/11/13
Last updated on: 04/11/13
 
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As Uruguay's House of Representatives resoundingly voted in favor of legislation authorizing same-sex marriage on April 10, 2013, cheers erupted from the packed galleries of the ornate chamber. The 71-21 tally in the House was on a bill that reconciled some minor differences between the version approved by the Senate on April 2 and the one approved by the House in December 2012. The bill becomes law 90 days after President José Mujica signs it. Uruguay is the twelfth country that has authorized same-sex marriage nation-wide.

When same-sex weddings in Uruguay commence in July, it will be the second country in South America--after its neighbor, Argentina--to provide equal marriage rights to all its same-sex couples.

Mexican gay and lesbian couples have been able to marry in Mexico City since 2010, while a recent ruling by the country's high court legalized same-sex marriage in Oaxaca and promises to establish marriage equality nationally there as well.

Same-sex couples in Colombia will automatically receive full marriage rights in June if the country's lawmakers do not act upon a court ruling that orders them to legislate the matter. Colombia's Senate is considering a measure that would legalize nuptials for gays and lesbians, though the legislation is not expected to pass.

Same-sex marriages are recognized throughout Brazil, but in only ten of its 27 states may same-couples marry at registry offices in the same way that opposite-sex couples do. In the other states, they must petition courts to recognize their "stable unions" as marriages.

Uruguay has been in the vanguard of progressive social change in South America. In 2008, it became the first Latin American country to adopt a national civil union law, the Ley de Unión Concubinaria. The law permits both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into a civil union after living together for at least five years. Couples in civil unions are entitled to most of the benefits that married couples are afforded, including social security entitlements, inheritance rights, and joint ownership of goods and property. In addition, same-sex couple are permitted joint adoption rights.

The video below documents the cheers and chants that erupted when the results of the vote was announced on April 10, 2013.

The news report below explains the struggle to achieve marriage equality in Uruguay.

 
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