Marriage Equality Bill Introduced In Uruguay

5 Sep 2011

Rep Sebastian Sabini - Uruguay

(Via On Top Magazine)

A bill that would legalize gay marriage in Uruguay was formally introduced on Tuesday.

The bill was drafted with the help of the gay rights group Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep) and is being sponsored by Representative Sebastian Sabini of the Frente Amplio, the nation's ruling party, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

Sabini told reporters that the measure enjoys the support of his party.

"We are not focusing on the issue of gay marriage but on marriage equality regardless of sex, gender or religion," Sabini said in April, when he first proposed the bill.

The objective is "marriage for all" and to "not lessen the civil rights" of some Uruguayans who today "cannot marry."

Backers believe the bill will be debated in the House of Representatives this year and the legislation will reach the Senate in early 2012.

In 2007, Uruguay became the first Latin American nation to recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. Two years later, former President Tabare Vazquez signed a groundbreaking transgender law that sets the legal guidelines for people who want to change their gender.

Last year, Argentina became the first nation in the region to legalize gay marriage. Gay couples in Mexico can marry in the municipality of Mexico City and their marriages are recognized throughout the nation.