Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July 17th, 2010

In a bold and sensible move, Argentina has thrown off at least one of the bindings that have yoked Latin America for centuries.

Ever since the conquistadors showed up and began pillaging in the name of the Church, countries geographically south of the US have been ideologically under the thumb of Rome, a very profitable set of circumstances for the collectors of hearts, minds, priceless art and vast tracts of tax-free land, but not so great for millions of struggling Latins for whom it’s been commanded that the path to salvation can best be trod barefoot and pregnant.

So, it is with some hope that the grip is slipping I learn that this week Argentina has legalized same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

Argentinean lawmakers have legalized same-sex marriage and adoption after 14 hours of debate. The measure passing makes Argentina the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage thereby also legalizing same-sex adoption too.

Lawmakers in the Senate began their debate on Wednesday but heated talks lasted well into early Thursday morning. The Senate voted 33 to 27 to approve the bill despite staunch opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups.

The bill had the backing of the center-left government of President Cristina Fernandez, who said previously if it passed she would not veto it.

“I believe this has advanced equal rights,” Sen. Eugenio Artaza told reporters after the debate.

Seems that it’s been okay for gays to adopt for a while in Argentina, but those opposed to same-sex marriage were hoping to derail that as well, so passing this bill has been vital to protecting the option of adoption in family building.

If I’d been following this, I would have thrown more of my support behind the country’s football team in the World Cup. Seems a popular soap opera has featured a story line about gay footballers that looks worth a gander.

Soap star Cristian Sancho

Even the NBA gets a mention as an Argentine player for the Spurs has stepped up with a three-pointer in support of the new legislation.

Of course, not everyone is happy about extending human rights. The conservative site citizenlink.com, a “focus on family” finger, has this to say:

“The legalization of same-sex marriage in Argentina sets a very negative precedent for Latin American nations,” said Yuri Mantilla, director of international government affairs for CitizenLink. “The decision deconstructs one of the most important historical foundations of any nation, which is marriage as the union between a man and a woman.”

Mantilla has little hope that the new law will help resolve the economic and moral problems of Argentina.

“Considering that the family is the foundation of society – and the foundation for social and economic development,” he said, “the deconstruction of marriage, as the union between a man and a woman, will increase the moral and economic challenges that face Argentina.”

Considering the fact that Argentina is a Catholic country, I’d suggest there be more focus on the moral challenges faced by that institution … and that it’s the economic worries that are tugging on the rosary; there’s a lot of dosh to be lost when Argentines stop auto-plopping into the plate.

One Senator opposed to the bill took an interesting angle:

Sen. Juan Perez Alsina said, “Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for centuries, and is essential for the perpetuation of the species.”

Yeah. Right. Like that’s still a viable imperative. Yes, it’s existed for centuries, but so did smallpox and we manage without that. I also hate to break it to Sen. Alsina, but reproduction does actually occur even without the holy bonds of matrimony.

So, tip of the hat to Argentina’s law makers. Now, get the church to pay taxes and we’ll call it equal.

Read Full Post »