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Updated: Uruguay to become second nation in Latin America to approve gay, lesbian marriage equality

Update from Dan Littauer, a reporter at Gay Star News:

Minor note: its the 2nd country not the 4th in Latin America.

Mexico city NOT MEXICO AS A NATION, approved Gay Marriage. Brazil DID NOT approve Gay Marriage yet (not even partnership) - the supreme court removed a prohibition on it but there is no law.

From Freedom to Marry;

New York – 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.

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Brazilian law doesn't say anything about same-sex marriage (the law is vague and only says that "man an woman should be over 16, etc" - which is interpreted as "men and women should be over 16". Also not defining "they both" or "between a man and a woman".
Our Supreme Court then came to grounds that it doesn't matter the couple - if hetero or homosexuals, all couples should be granted protection. So now it's up to the states to issue an ordinance to the notaries on how to proceed. São Paulo and other states already do it without a problem. Other states may not have it regulated so judges can still deny a license - which is useless because the license will probably be granted on second instance and FOR SURE on last instance (since de Supreme Court already issued their statement on this matter).

@Dan Littauer: While there is no law regulating same-sex marriage, there is no law forbidding it either. In May 2011, the Supreme Court of Brazil ruled unanimously that same-sex "stable unions" (equivalent to civil unions) are considered a family entity under the Brazilian Constitution. The Constitution specifically says that the law should facilitate the conversion of stable unions into marriage. Several state courts (in the states of AL, BA, CE, DF, ES, MS, PR, PI, SE, SP) have authorized the issuing of marriage certificates with basis on that Supreme Court ruling. These marriage certificates are 100% valid under Brazilian law and grant same-sex couples with the very same benefits of a heterosexual marriage. Therefore, while there may be no law on the issue, several Brazilian states DO allow same-sex marriage and there are hundreds of same-sex couples already married across the country.

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