Friday, December 28, 2007

Civil Unions Begin Next Week In Uruguay

I will not say much about this story ( other than that this development is further proof that the anti-gay elements in the USA are swimming against the tide of history. I am confident that some day these anti-gay bigots will be looked on little better than the segregationists who used the Bible to justify racial bigotry. While Uruguay's law is less than perfect, it is far better than what gays face in most states in the USA. Here are a few story highlights:

(Montevideo) President Tabare Vazquez signed legislation Thursday making Uruguay the first country in Latin America to allow same-sex couples to enter civil unions. The law takes effect at the beginning of 2008. The bill passed Congress earlier this month. The law will allow same and opposite-sex couples to form civil unions. Couples must have been together for at least five years and sign a registry. They would then receive pension, inheritance and parenting rights. The measure was a campaign promise of Vasquez's ruling leftist coalition.

the civil union bill is a major step in the right direction in a region where the Catholic Church dominates much of everyday life. The church fought the legislation from the onset and repeated a pledge Thursday that it will continue to fight any attempt to legalize same-sex marriage. In neighboring Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul state which lies along the border, passed civil union legislation in 2004, two years after Buenos Aires passed a similar law. Civil unions also are legal in Mexico City and Coahuila state.

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