Uruguay moved a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage on Tuesday after lawmakers in its lower house of Congress approved a single law governing marriage for both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
The measure, which was passed by a wide margin, now goes to the Senate where it is expected to be approved. President Jose Mujica said he plans to sign it into law early next year.
“This is not a homosexual or gay marriage law. It is a measure to equalize the institution independent of the sex of the couple,” said Julio Bango, one of the bill’s authors.
The law would also allow all couples, gay or straight decide whose surname goes first when they name their children, breaking with a tradition that has held for centuries across Latin America, where in nearly every country, laws require people to give their children two last names, and the father’s comes first, reported Associated Press.
The Roman Catholic Church is opposed to the proposal, but the church has little political influence in secular Uruguay.
The measure was approved by a vote of 81-18.
In recent years, Uruguay has moved to allow same-sex civil unions, adoption by gay couples, and to allow gay members of the armed forces.
The new proposal would make Uruguay the second nation in Latin America and the 12th in the world to legalize gay marriage, after The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark.
The largest paper in the city, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, honored one stand out citizen from RVA for the second year in a row today, and while mayor elect Levar Stoney took the big prize, Diversity Richmond’s President Bill Harrison was among those nominated. “I’m quite humbled I am one of the most blessed people I [...]