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Uruguayan legislature gives final approval to marriage equality

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Step aside, France: Uruguay has beat you to the punch to be the next country to offer marriage equality to its LGBT citizens.

Last night, the Uruguayan House of Representatives voted 71-21 in favor of a proposed equal marriage bill which the country’s Senate had approved last week by a similarly lop-sided vote of 23-8.

The marriage bill now goes to the desk of President José Mujica, who has said he will sign it.  Uruguay will be the second Latin American country to legalize marriage equality, after Argentina.  Some areas of Brazil allow same-sex couples to wed, as does Mexico City.  The Colombian Senate was scheduled to consider a marriage equality bill this week, but that debate has been postponed until next week.

The Uruguayan bill, which will also allow same-sex couples to adopt, came up for a vote in the House of Representatives even though the chamber had already approved the measure in an 81-6 vote in December because it contained new amendments following the Senate vote.

Colectivo Ovejas Negras, an Uruguayan LGBT rights group, wrote on its Facebook page after the House vote, “We are the 12th country in the world with equality for everyone.  Let’s celebrate Uruguayans!”

The bill will not go into effect for approximately 90 days in order to allow lawmakers to correct what deputy Jose Bayardi called “drafting errors,” according to Gay Star News.

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