A Paraguayan gay couple demands the right to register their marriage in their country.
Thirty-year old Simon Cazal and 20-year-old Sergio López were married last year in Argentina, the first Latin American country to approve nationwide gay marriage.
However, Paraguay has no laws for same-sex marriage or civil unions.
As part of their first year anniversary, the couple asked yesterday (22 March) a judge in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital, to order civil registry officials to record their marriage.
‘We wanted to register our marriage in the civil registry … but due to possible homophobic interference we filed a case with the court of the first instance in Asunción’, through lawyers, said Cazal, in a telephone interview with AP.
Cazal explained that they went first to the judge because a local radio has been reporting that civil registry officials will likely block his attempt to register his marriage to Lopez.
‘With Sergio we lead a peaceful and harmonious life, but for now we are not thinking of adopting children, as we are working to strengthen our relationship and in defense LGBT rights with our organization’, said Cazal.
Deputy Jose Lopez of the opposition party National Union of Ethical Citizens (UNACE) said that ‘this year there is no prospect of any bill on gay marriage'.
The deputy expressed his view that same-sex union ‘is reprehensible for being unnatural’.
Casal and López, who are activists with SOMOSGAY, Paraguay’s LGBT rights organization, however, are undeterred by such prejudice.
Lopez tweeted: ‘Marriage in Paraguay doesn’t need to be gay nor heterosexual. It has to be EQUAL!’.
According to Article 49 of Paraguay’s constitution a family is comprised of a ‘stable union of man and woman’.
The couple is determined to push Paraguay, through the courts, to amend its laws.
Commenting on twitter, López, stated: ‘My family has the same right to protection by law as any other Paraguayan family’.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Cazal said ‘The constitution [Article 49] doesn’t ban same sex marriage, according to the opinion of our legal team.
We intend to challenge that article, and hopefully, amend the law accordingly’ said Cazal, who is optimistic about the prospects for equality in Paraguay.
‘The public has been very supportive. Last year support has greatly increased, as we gained visibility.
‘The more attention we get, the more support we gain. I think we need to thank that who are opposed to equality’ said Cazal jokingly.
‘We’re also receiving support mostly from left wing parties. Two presidential candidates are supportive of our cause, one of them, currently second runner, Mario Ferreiro, has included an openly gay candidate high on the list for a seat in the Senate‘.