Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent


Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies approves homosexual 'marriage'

Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

April 11, 2013 ( - Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of its national congress, approved the creation of homosexual "marriage" yesterday in a measure supported by 71 of the Chamber's 92 members.

The legislation, already approved in the Uruguayan Senate in December in an 81-6 vote, will now return to the Senate for approval of modifications passed in the Chamber of Deputies.

It is expected to be signed by socialist president Jose Mujica, who has expressed his support for the measure.

A homosexual organization known as "The Black Sheep," issued a press communique celebrating the legislation and noting the success of the homosexual movement in promoting its ideology in recent decades.

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"Many of us Uruguayans were born into a country where being gay, lesbian, and transgender was the equivalent of being sick, immoral, or even a disgrace for the family and for the society," the group noted.

Ignacio Zuasnabar of the Uruguayan polling firm Equipos told the BBC that "in Uruguay there has been an important change of values regarding sexual liberty in a more general sense, in relation to homosexuality and regarding other forms of family."

Uruguay is perhaps the most irreligious and liberal nation in Latin America, with 23.2 percent claiming no religious affiliation and 17.2 percent classifying itself as "atheist or agnostic," according to the CIA Factbook.

Unlike other South American countries, Uruguay has had homosexual "civil unions" since 2007. In late 2012 it became the first country on the continent to legalize abortion-on-demand. It has approved homosexual adoptions since 2009.

Currently, the only other South American country to have created homosexual "marriage" by a legislative act is Argentina, which instituted it in 2010.

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