Uruguay is getting closer and closer to legal gay marriage after the lower house of Congress in Uruguay approved a legal bill called the Marriage Equality Law. As the title suggests, would make all marriages in Uruguayan jurisdiction legal (including homosexual ones).
In order for the bill to formally become law in the state, placing Uruguay as the second Latin American country to legalize gay marriages, it now has to be approved by the Senate.
This follows a Uruguayan pattern over the last couple of years. It has already allowed same-sex civil unions, gay couples to adopt, and permitted openly gay citizens to join the armed forces. Though it is still unknown whether the Senate will approve the new bill there seems to be an air of optimism that it will.
This legal reform by the Uruguayan government mirrors a significant change in the region’s traditionally catholic values. It has been a surprising change due to the influence of the church in Latin American daily life.
Others countries are seeing the change and changing their laws. Same-sex marriages were legalized in Mexico City in 2009, Mexico’s Supreme Court overturned a law that banned gay marriage in Oaxaca and Brazil’s Supreme Court voted in favor of giving same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones.