Argentina Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

On June 15, 2010, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same sex marriage.  The movement toward the legalization of same-sex marriage began last year when a judge in Buenos Aires ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was illegal, paving the way for such marriages in the capital of Argentina.  After much debate, including 14 hours on the Senate floor on June 14th, the country has taken the plunge toward a pro-gay marriage movement in Argentine politics.  The new law will give same-sex couples equal marriage rights, including the ability to adopt children.  The predominately Roman Catholic country follows a few others around the world where same-sex marriage is legal. Among them are the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.  Full Article.

The federal government of the United States does not recognize the marriages of same-sex couples and is prohibited from doing so by the Defense of Marriage Act.  Same-sex marriages are currently granted by five of the 50 states and one federal district.  In Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., marriages for same-sex couples are legal and currently performed.  In California all same-sex unions are given the benefits of marriage under California law, although only those performed as marriages before November 5, 2008, retain the designation “marriage.” In New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland, same-sex marriages are recognized, but not performed.  With the recent decision out of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the likelihood of that decision being appealed all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. may see a change in the Nation’s same-sex marriage laws in the near future.

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