Amid a maelstrom of opinions on the subject, the House of Representatives will begin to discuss two bills that enable same-sex marriages on Friday.
The legislative bills were driven by the deputies Silvia Augsburger (MSZP) and Vilma Ibarra (Popular and Social Encounter) and they aim to “give people the freedom to choose with whom to meet the commitments of cohabitation, regardless of whether they are from the same or different sex.”
The projects, which will be discussed at a joint plenary of the General Law Committee, and the Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Lower House of Argentina, seek an amendment to Article 172 of the Civil Code to replace the term “man and woman” by “spouses” without reference to the sex of the people who consumate a marriage.
If the change is accepted, the article will say, “the full and free consent given personally by the parties before the competent authority is indispensable for the existence of marriage. Marriage will have the same requirements and effects regardless of whether the parties are from the same or different sex. “
Ibarra anticipated that the debate that will promote a “respectful debate of a topic that had never been addressed in the parliamentary level.”
The Civil Union Law of the City of Buenos Aires already approved in December 2002 set the first precedent in the country and the first recognition of gay couples in Latin America.
Yet, Argentina’s gay community is not satisfied with this measure, since in their opinion the civil union is not a legal equivalent of marriage.
The Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders has long campaigned to change the law, which they deem as “discriminatory”, and to achieve their goal: “The same rights with the same names”.
But logically, and more in a society like Argentina, the initiative caused a stir in the more conservative sectors and the church.
From the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), it is believed that “marriage is based on the free, permanent and exclusive liaison between a man and a woman, in order to mutual assistance, procreation and children’s education.”
“Confining marriage to unions between a man and a woman isn’t an unfair discrimination. To discriminate is to distinguish. It is unfair when it comes to the same realities. On the contrary, it is fair when dealing with different realities. Marriage and unions between same-sex people are different realities.”
As for the possibility that gay couples adopt children, the UCA held that “scientific studies show the importance of the father’s and mother’s presence in their upbringing.”
In this context arduous hours of debate are expected by these sectors whom will object to the initiatives in question.
According to a survey, over 70% of Argentines agree with legalizing marriage between same sex.