Uruguay looks to become second Latin American country with the freedom to marry

This week, ABC News reported that the congress in Uruguay may soon consider a law that would end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

Same-sex couples in Uruguay can already share in civil union, which affords some - but not all - of the protections and responsibilities taht marriage provides. A marriage law approved by the congress would be the next step for the country in fully embracing the freedom to marry.

ABC News reported:

[The marriage law[ was drafted by gay rights activists in the so-called "Black Sheep Collective" and now has the support of lawmakers in the ruling Broad Front coalition, which decided Wednesday to debate the measure next week in the House of Deputies' constitutional commission.

"Today's society is much broader than the heterosexual, and the civil code should reflect this: a marriage institution that applies equally to all," Federico Grana, a member of the collective, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "This goes well beyond homosexuality - it's a law that gives all the same rights and responsibilities."

If the Uruguayan congress takes action to approve the freedom to marry, Uruguay would become the second country in Latin America to end the exclusion of same-sex couples across the country. In July of 2010, the Argentine National Congress approved a marriage law, and it was signed into law by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Same-sex couples in Brazil are in somewhat of a legal limbo: Several couples have been able to petition judges to convert their lawful civil unions into legal marriages, but this barrier must be dismantled before couples across the country can share in the freedom to marry.

Learn more about international developments on the freedom to marry on our International page.