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Uruguay to vote on gay marriage 26 December

Uruguay to vote on gay marriage 26 December

The Uruguayan Senate will vote on a gay marriage bill this Wednesday 26 December.

The Senate has expedited voting on the Marriage Equality Law after it passed with an overwhelming majority in the country’s lower house of Congress 11 December by 81-6 votes.

According to Uruguay’s leading LGBT rights group, Colectivo Ovejas Negras or Black Sheep Collective, lawmakers expect president Mujica to sign the bill into law a few weeks from now.

The new law will not only create a single marriage standard for heterosexuals and homosexuals, but also breaks with long-standing Latin American tradition where a child’s first surname is their father’s

The Marriage Equality Law will allow parents, gay or straight, to decide whose surname comes first when naming their children.

The gay marriage bill also includes amendments on laws regarding in-vitro fertilization and adoption.

Julio Bango, one of the bill’s authors, said: ‘This is not a homosexual or gay marriage law.’

‘It is a measure to equalize the institution independent of the sex of the couple’.

Earlier this year, Uruguay recognized its first foreign gay marriage, and over the last few years has allowed same-sex civil unions, adoption by gay couples and gay individuals to serve in the armed forces.

Uruguay would be the second Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, after Argentina legalized gay marriage in 2010.

Gay marriages are recognized in Mexico City and as of last week São Paulo, and same-sex civil unions are recognized throughout Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil and Ecuador.