Thursday April 8, 2010

Battle of the Judges Continues in Argentina over Gay ‘Marriage’

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

BUENOS AIRES, April 8, 2010 ( – An Argentinean judge has yet again authorized a homosexual “marriage” in the city of Buenos Aires, despite the fact that all such previous rulings have been struck down by higher courts.

On April 5, Administrative Judge Guillermo Scheibler of Buenos Aires ordered the city government to celebrate a “marriage” between two men, Carlos Álvarez e Martín Canevaro, declaring the nation’s laws regarding marriage to be “unconstitutional.”

Articles 172 and 188 of Argentina’s civil code recognize that marriage is a union between people of the opposite sex.

Article 172 states that, “The full and free consent expressed personally by a man and woman before the competent authority to celebrate it, is indispensable for the existence of marriage. The act that lacks any of these requirements will not produce civil effects.” Article 188 requires the couple to register as “husband and wife.”

Government attorneys immediately filed an appeal in the case, blocking the scheduled “marriage” until a ruling is given.

The ruling represents the beginning of another round of legal ping-pong that has been in process since late 2009, when a judge in Buenos Aires ruled that the Argentinean civil code was “unconstitutional” and ordered a marriage to be registered. Her ruling, however, was suspended by another judge and the “wedding” was canceled.

The couple then managed to register their “marriage” in the province of Tierra del Fuego, where the governor issued a decree to permit it, the first such in Latin America.

Another couple received permission from a Buenos Aires administrative judge to enter into “matrimony” in late February. Although the couple managed to register their “marriage,” a national judge struck down the ruling and ordered the union to be nullified.