Another first for Latin America: gay adoption in Uruguay

by on September 11, 2009  •  In Family law

Capt.photo_1252516832293-1-0 Uruguay lawmakers Wednesday adopted a trailblazing law allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children, in an unprecedented move for Latin America. … [T]he contentious bill passed its final hurdle with 17 out of 23 senators voting in favor of the legislation.

It was approved by lawmakers from the ruling leftwing Frente Amplio and the opposition Colorado Party, while the opposition National Party voted against. The Senate had already approved a draft bill on its first reading in July, but it had to pass a second vote due to slight changes to the text introduced when the lower house voted approved the legislation last month.

Gay adoptions remain contentious worldwide, and Uruguay, a nation of some 3.5 million people, is taking another step away from its more conservative neighbors after having already authorized gay civil unions last year. President Tabare Vazquez, the first leftist leader in Uruguayan history, already opened access for homosexuals to military schools in May. But the move faced huge opposition from the country's religious leaders and some right-wing politicians.

The Catholic Church is against the bill because "from Genesis in the Bible, it says that 'God created man and woman,'" Bishop Paul Galimbertti said. "The position of the Church is very clear on this issue," he said, adding "there is no proof that adoption by homosexuals is a positive thing."…

"Uruguay has a long tradition of leading the way in civil rights, and has shown a desire to move ahead quickly on such questions," said social sciences professor Adolfo Garce at the Montevideo University. The large wave of European immigration to the country in the 20th century, particularly from Spain has given it "a progressive and secular culture," he added.

Uruguay was the first country in the largely Catholic South American region to approve divorce in 1907, and gave women the right to vote in 1932. But abortion remains illegal, after President Vazquez vetoed a proposed bill last year which would have legalized the terminations of pregnancies on "ethical grounds."


Source: yahoo news; HT Oscar Cabrera


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