The Uruguayan Senate passed freedom to marry legislation today allowing same-sex couples to marry, making Uruguay nearly certain to be the 15th nation in the world – and the fourth in Latin America – where gay and lesbian couples can share in the freedom to marry. The bill passed today had been modified slightly since passage by the Chamber of Deputies in December, but those changes are expected to be easily approved by the deputies. President José Mujica has said he intends to sign the bill.
Evan Wolfson, president and founder of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
“Freedom to Marry applauds the people of Uruguay and their government for moving forward into a future in which all loving and committed couples can share in the freedom to marry and the meaning and protections marriage brings to families. Uruguay’s vote today to move past civil union to marriage itself, Argentina’s enactment of the freedom to marry in 2010 and the Mexico Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling last month in favor of the freedom to marry — citing the U.S Supreme Court cases of Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia — all are inspirations and examples decision-makers here in the United States, including our Supreme Court justices, should swiftly follow to get the U.S. where it needs to be.”
When marriages between same-sex couples begin this summer, Uruguay will join 11 countries that have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide: The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark. Three others have taken judicial and regional steps to allow same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry in parts of the country: Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.