While America waits to see whether gay marriage will spread through its arteries to reach all four corners, Venezuela is taking it upon itself to recognize same-sex couples. Or at least legislator Romelia Matute, a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly and Deputy of the Assembly’s Family Commission, is.
As reported on Friday in Spain’s ABC, Matute stated that “the report on the ‘Organic Bill for Gender Equality’ is almost ready for a second – and final – [legislative] debate,” adding that it would include language allowing “the union between two people of the same gender” in the form of something she called “co-inhabiting associations”.
Matute said that members of the National Assembly, a majority of whom belong to President Hugo Chávez’ party, had met “several times” with gay rights organizations and said that it was those organizations who requested that the “co-inhabiting association” term be used.
She said that the government would recognize “the joint-living associations formed by two persons of the same gender, on mutual accord and free agreement, with the full legal and patrimonial effect”.
Matute also said that the bill would address transgender issues: “Whoever changes their gender through quirurgical means, or any other means, exercising their freedom, has the right to their identity, and to drafting or changing all documents associated with their identification”.