Same-sex couples in Peru will continue to lack legal recognition of their relationships after a bill to legalize civil unions was rejected by the Congress’ Justice and Human Rights Committee.
Members of the committee voted 7 against the Civil Union Bill, with 4 voting for the bill and 2 abstentions.
The same committee blocked a similar bill from going forward in 2011.
LGBTI rights advocates say they are disappointed that a bill to legalize civil unions in Peru has been blocked by the Justice and Human Rights Committee but are still optimistic that a similar reform will pass in future.
Peru’s first openly gay Congressman Carlos Bruce said justice would ultimately prevail.
‘We might have lost the battle but we will win the war, I assure the youth of Peru that they will not have to experience what we have been through,’ Congressman Bruce said following yesterday’s vote in the committee.
‘Today we have seen which Congressmen are denying equal rights for all Peruvians and who consider themselves superior – who believe there are second-class citizens’
Peruvian LGBTI rights group Movimiento Homosexual de Lima (MHOL) CEO Giovanny Romero said the movement would not rest until all Peruvian couples had their rights and recognition under the law.
‘It is a matter of time until gay couples will be able to live together in peace and with protection of the law, in fact, we will not rest until we achieve this,’ Romero said.
Campaigners say the bill caused valuable debate in Peruvian society during the year and a half since it was submitted to Congress – particularly around the influence of the Catholic Church on politics.
Earlier this week a prominent Peruvian Catholic Bishop labelled Congressman Bruce a ‘maricon’, or faggot, for his efforts to try to have the bill passed.