There is disappointing news to report from the South American nation of Uruguay. The Senate was expected to pass a marriage equality and adoption bill yesterday that was recently introduced in the General Assembly. The vote has been postponed until the spring, reports On Top Magazine.
Uruguay already permits same-sex civil unions. If the new law is legalized, it would become South America's second nation after neighboring Argentina to legalize marriage equality.
According to the AFP, the Senate, which is currently in parliamentary recess, held a special session to discuss a dozen bills, including one which states that “marriage is the permanent union between two persons of the same or opposite sex.”
The “Marriage Equality Law” seeks to modify some 20 articles of the Civil Code, including whose surname goes first when children are named.
Opponents asked for the bill's vote to be postponed until the Senate's first meeting in April to allow more time to study the proposal. The request received unanimous approval. The bill has already received an initial nod in the Senate and it cleared the nation's lower house earlier this month. President Jose Mujica has said he'll sign the bill into law.
In July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Marriage equality has been the law in Mexico City since December 2009. Those same sex marriages are recognized in all of Mexico's 31 states. Brazil's Supreme Court unanimously approved civil unions for same-sex couples in May 2011. Three of Brazil's five largest states—Bahia, Rio Grande do Sol and São Paulo—now offer equal marriage for gay and lesbian couples
South America is rapidly embracing LGBT rights. Argentina's Senate unanimously approved a landmark gender identity bill in May that mandated access to sex reassignment surgery for transgender persons. Chile approved anti-discrimination legislation that protected sexual orientation only one month earlier.
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