Argentina's Gays Petition Right for Same-sex Marriage

by Savitha C Muppala on  December 17, 2009 at 5:31 PM Sexual Health News   - G J E 4
Argentina's gay community came out in the open compelling the government to legalize same-sex marriage.
 Argentina's Gays Petition Right for Same-sex Marriage
Argentina's Gays Petition Right for Same-sex Marriage

"On Tuesday or Wednesday of next week we will be filing at least 50 appeals at court in Buenos Aires and in 14 provinces," said Maria Rachid, president of a leading national gay rights group.

The coordinated effort comes as Argentina's Supreme Court considers whether to allow gay marriage, two weeks after a lower court blocked what would have been Latin America's first legal wedding between two men.

Alejandro Freyre, 39, and Jose Maria Di Bello, 41, are demanding to be legally married following a November 13 court ruling that ordered civil officials in Buenos Aires to recognize their union.

No Latin American country currently recognizes gay marriage but Buenos Aires, known for its active if low-key gay movement, became Latin America's first city to approve civil unions in 2002. The city grants gay couples some, but not all rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

Rachid also expressed hope that Argentina's legislature will take up a measure during the next legislative session at the beginning of 2010, that would change the civil code -- which currently defines marriage as being between a man and a woman -- to being the union of two consenting adults.

"There is sufficient consensus to pass the law at the beginning of the coming year," she said.

The Argentina's courts have flip-flopped on whether to allow Freyre and Di Bello to wed.

A November 13 ruling by Judge Gabriela Seijas ordered the civil registry in Buenos Aires to formalize the marriage.

A ceremony had been planned for December 2, but in a last-minute ruling on the eve of the event, a second judge put the ceremony on hold pending the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal.

Judge Martha Gomez Alsina ruled that there had been no discrimination against the two men, since same-sex couples in Argentina have the right to celebrate civil unions.

Source: AFP

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