By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
BUENOS AIRES, July 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Tens of thousands of Argentineans took to the streets in protest yesterday as the nation's Senate entered into its final debate over a bill to create homosexual “marriage.” The bill was passed in May by the Chamber of Deputies, the nation's lower legislative house.
Prior to taking a vote on the same-sex “marriage” bill, the Senate will vote on a bill to reject the Chamber of Deputies bill, a proposal that, at last count, was supported by a majority of senators. But if it fails, the bill creating homosexual “marriage” will be voted on. The vote, to be taken after the final debates today, is expected to be narrow. A third proposal has also been offered, in favor of civil unions, as a compromise measure.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators came to the Plaza of the Two Congresses yesterday to protest in favor of true marriage, rallied by the Department of Laity of the Argentinean Episcopal Conference, which is an organ of the Catholic bishops of the country. They were joined by the Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches, and the Evangelical Pentecostal Confraternity Federation.
Demonstrators carried signs reading “We children have a right to a mother and father.” Estimates of the total number of demonstrators ranged between 50,000 and 250,000. A smaller number of counter-protesters were also present.
A recent nationwide poll indicates that a strong plurality of the nation's citizens are opposed to gay “marriage” (46%), while only 40% support it. A large group, 14%, has no opinion.
If the proposal for homosexual “marriage” passes, it is believed that gay adoption will also automatically become legal, an issue that is also of great concern to Latin Americans, who tend to be pro-family and protective of children.
Although President Kristina Fernandez de Kirchner has opposed pro-abortion initiatives, she has rejected the pro-family position in this case, taking a strong stand in favor of equalizing gay sex partners with married couples, like has her cabinet and her husband, who preceded her in office. However, a significant minority in her bloc is opposed to the idea.
Related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Argentinean University Urges Government not to Legalize Gay 'Marriage'
Homosexual “Marriage” Bill Advances in Argentina
Argentine Bishop States Gays Can Overcome Same-Sex Attraction, Leads Pro-Family March
Argentinean Evangelicals Protest Against Homosexual 'Marriage'
Adopted Children Reject Gay Adoption as “Marriage” Legislation Advances in Argentina
Battle of the Judges Continues in Argentina over Gay 'Marriage'
First “Gay Marriage” Registered in Argentina