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Uruguay's President grants legal rights for gay couples

From PinkNews.co.uk:

VazquezUruguay has become the first Latin American country to to recognise same-sex civil unions after President Tabare Vazquez, left, signed the law that had been passed earlier this month.

The law grants cohabiting couples who have lived together for more than five years the same rights as straight married couples.

The text states that "two people -- of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual option -- who maintain an emotional relationship sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent, without being united in matrimony."

The country of 3.6m people is the first nation in South America to grant such protections, although some cities and regions throughout the continent have made similar legal provisions.

In March the senior Roman Catholic clergy in the form of the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay (CEP) echoed bishops in Europe by attacking the validity of gay relationships. "In no way can homosexual cohabitation be accepted because it does not meet the basic criteria defining marriage, it is therefore unacceptable to place it in suchlike equal level," a statement from CEP said.

The main opposition party in Uruguay, Partido National, tried to remove gay and lesbian couples from the new bill during a March debate in the Chamber of Deputies but was unsuccessful.

Same-sex marriage will remain illegal in Uruguay, something LGBT rights groups say they will continue to fight.

Because of the marriage ban judges have been unsure how to rule in a number of cases involving same-sex couples, particularly in areas of adoption, pensions and inheritance.

Senator Margarita Percovich, the author of the legislation, said the bill would give couples entering civil unions the same rights as marriage.

Under the legislation couples would have be together for at least five years and sign a registry. The couples will receive heath benefits, inheritance, parenting and pension rights.

In neighbouring Brazil, the border state of Rio Grande do Sul passed civil union legislation in 2004, two years after the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, passed a similar law.

The decision to legally recognise gay couples in Uruguay makes the country the first in South America to have a national civil union law.

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Liberalism will destroy Uruguay just as it has the United States.

Liberalism will destroy Uruguay just as it has the United States.

Liberalism will destroy Uruguay just as it has the United States.

I cheer President Vasquez and the people of Uruguay for recognizing human and civil rights for all, with no discrimination. In a world that thrives on inequalities, my hat is off to Uruguay, for recognizing all persons who are responsible citizens are created equal, and it is Man, his politics, economics and his religions who create the inequities. It is no threat to me, "that two people of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual opinion - who maintain a relationship, sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent in nature, without being united in matrimony", may have the same protections and rights under laws of a country. To compare the disaster that has fallen on the U.S., is not to be laid at the feet of Liberalism. More correctly it should be laid at the feet of the politicians, economic system, and in general the special interest groups that politic and influence the direction of government strictly for financial ends.

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