In a show of near unanimousness, the Uruguyan House passed same-sex legislation yesterday by a whopping 81-6 vote paving the way for same-sex marriage in this small, South American country. The Senate is widely expected to follow suit in March when they reconvene and President José Mujica has promised to sign the bill into law.
Uruguay, which has had civil unions since 2009, would become the second nation, after Argentina, to allow same-sex marriage in South America. Ecuador currently allows same-sex civil unions and Columbia has until May to legislate marriage before the government takes action.
Álvaro Queiruga of the LGBT advocacy group Colectivo Ovejas Negras, speaking to the Washington Blade, observed, "“Today, we are a step further of becoming a more democratic and just society. The LGBT population will no longer be denied an essential right such as this one. We are very happy today, and this will empower us to continue our fight for a better Uruguay without second class citizens due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
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