Quick Hit: Latin America Ahead of U.S. on Same-Sex Marriage

Amidst all the hateful hype surrounding Prop 8 in CA, it can be easy to lose perspective on the same sex marriage “debate” and forget that it’s actually quite a straightforward issue, a matter of common sense and a basic human right. An opinion piece in today’s LA Times gives us a much-needed reminder of this, providing some perspective with the bold headline “Latin America ahead of U.S. on same-sex marriage.”

The article is definitely worth a read. It points out that countries like Mexico and Argentina have been able to recognize “that religion and civil law have different roles to perform in marriage, something absent in the debate in the U.S.” and highlights some of the most recent and significant legal achievements won for LGBTQI rights.

Earlier this week, as part of the Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice, I wrote about this strategic work by feminists in Latin America to ensure the separation of church and state. This article expands on that trend and highlights some of the great strides Latin America has made toward ending discrimination against queer folks. Hopefully other regions of the world- including the U.S.- will get the memo soon.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 18, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    In Colombia, while there has been filbustering on the legislation front, the surprisingly open-minded Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of recognising “unión marital de hecho” of same-gender partners, which is essentially a common-law marraige. considering that few straight people get married, it is quite an even handed treatment of the issue. As the Court is resonsible for the interpretation of the Constitution itself, such jurisprudence is revolutionary.

    At least one court in the Consitutional jurisdiction (which deals with the violations of fundamental rights) have ruled in favour of allowing a lesbian to adopt her partner’s children.

    It will be interesting to see what unfolds with the new government under President Juan Manuel Santos, who, aside from muttering about going to mass frequently during the campaign is clearly not as alligned with the religious right (both Evangelical and Catholic) as President Uribe was – Uribe was known to have Bible study sessions with a Claudia Rodriguez de Castellanos and her husband prior to his cabinet meetings on Mondays and the Religious Right was a key part of his coalition.

    There still is much to be done, particularly outside of Bogota, but these are positive steps.

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