Uruguay Becomes 12th Country In The World To Legalize Gay Marriage

uruguay-gay-flagUruguayan lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption Wednesday, becoming the second South American country and 12th nation globally to do so.

According to the AP, the bill received the support of 71 of 92 members present in the Chamber of Deputies:

The “marriage equality project,” as it is called, was already approved by ample majorities in both legislative houses, but senators made some changes that required a final vote by the deputies. Among them: Gay and lesbian foreigners will now be allowed to come to Uruguay to marry, just as heterosexual couples can, said Michelle Suarez of the Black Sheep Collective [a gay rights group that drafted the proposal].

President Jose Mujica, whose governing Broad Front majority backed the law, is expected to put it into effect within 10 days.

The vote makes Uruguay the third country in the Americas to embrace marriage equality, after Canada and the U.S. Argentina, and the 12th country in the world.

Uruguay’s law, however, goes a step further than most by making a uniform set of rules for all couples, gay and straight alike:

-the words “husband and wife” in marriage contracts will be changed to the gender-neutral “contracting parties”

-all couples will get to decide which parent’s surname comes first when they have children

– all couples can adopt, or undergo in-vitro fertilization

-the age when people can legally marry has gone from 12 for girls and 14 for boys to 16 for both genders

-divorce laws have also been updated so that either spouse can request and be granted a divorce — interestingly, a 1912 law provided that only women could request a divorce in an effort to give women an equal share of power to men

“We are living a historic moment,” said Federico Grana, a leader of the Black Sheep Collective. “In terms of the steps needed, we calculate that the first gay couples should be getting married 90 days after the promulgation of the law, or in the middle of July.”

Meanwhile, we hope the Supreme Court is taking a note and that Uruguay is ready for a huge surge in LGBT tourism. Perhaps a name change is in order: Uragay, anyone?

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  • yaoming

    Praise the lord. Good luck down there, fellows.

  • gaymaniac

    Great news! Next stop-France,UK,Ireland and California.

  • knoxxy2008

    Yay Uruguay!


    Kisses to you all HOMOS in Uruguay, tell the USA to get fucked!. AdamHomo

  • Boytoy


  • EriannMX

    Gay marriage is also legally performed in parts of Mexico (Mexico City and State of Quintana Roo [Cancun]) and recognized nation-wide, even before Argentina. Yet you fail to mention it, why?

  • ChiChi Man

    My god. After all these years of struggle, it’s all happening so fast — except in the U.S. :-(

  • Augusto

    Whenever I see news this great I get very emotional. I’m a big “jock” guy but I don’t care – stuff like this brings me to tears.

    We’ve been through SO much CRAP!

    I REFUSE to allow ANYONE to tell me who to hate, why, on this fantastically beautiful planet, would I EVER let someone tell me who to LOVE!?

    HOORAY FOR URUGUAY!!! Another voice for sanity in the jungle!

  • Alfa

    @EriannMX: When it passes legislatively on a federal level, then that will mean marriage equality truly exists on a national level in los Estados Unidos de la República Mexicana. It’s moving in the right direction, although still behind the Río de la Plata nations. ¡Vivan Uruguay y Argentina!

  • Billysees

    @yaoming: 1

    “Praise the lord. Good luck down there, fellows.”

    Praise the lord is right.

    Best wishes to all that this will impact.

  • FStratford

    Hmmm Uruguay is in my Travel list.

  • Ken

    Someone mentioned that the President of the US is the leader of the free world. I said, “Don’t we have to be part of the free world for him to be the leader of it?” I fervently hope and pray, that some day very soon, America will join Uruguay in giving its citizens these rights and freedoms!

  • Alfa

    @Ken: Who mentioned that Ken? I don’t think anyone outside of the USA thinks that way, nor do I believe that someone in the States could have said that. No one leads the world, free or otherwise.

  • jmmartin

    I think they should vote to change their name to UruGAY.

  • Billysees

    @jmmartin: 14


  • Faggot


    Yes the article mentioned that they should change the name to Uragay, but I like UruGAY better. Does Uragay sound better than Urugay in English? That, at least, could be a good marketing campaign to let the rest of the world know that this is a gay-friendly nation, like its neighbor Argentina (where gay marriage passed a few years ago).

    Outside of Europe, Argentina and Uruguay are the two most “European” nations in the world (in ethnic make-up and attitudes), so that might have something to do with their high literacy rates, highly developed culture, and an open approach towards those who are not mainstream.

    BTW, Punta del Este’s Playa Chihuahua has one of the best gay/nude beaches in the world. Good luck finding that in the rest of the world.

    The pronunciation of this country is OOR-oo-gw? (guay rhymes with why = gwhy).

  • mcuerzi

    @EriannMX: ErianMX, Uruguay started the trend back in 2006 with anti-discrimination laws and in 2008 with Civil Unions, rights for adoption, and admitting gay people in the Army. Then Argentina legalized marriage in 2010 and then Uruguay swift from the Civil Unions to the “same rights, same words” scheme with equal marriage this year. Brazil did it this year too but through a Supreme Court bill. We all know Mexico City and a couple of Mexican States have also done it. This has been a sort of building blocks; one country building upon the achievements of another country and the whole region moving fordward. You don’t have to look at it as competition. Uruguay will always contribute to set the trend cause it’s very liberal and the curch is so weak down here, with almost half of the population agnostic. But the Uruguayan way is always through consensus so we started early but slow, and Marriage law in Argentina help us make the following step. I hope Mexico as a whole will follow Mexico City and the southern countries and soon will come Chile. The Caribbean will be harder. But Latinamerica is moving in the wright way with the contribution of all of us.

  • mcuerzi

    The article is wrong in saying that only women had rights to ask for divorce in Uruguay until now. The 1912 law established divorce rights for both genders. The only difference was that only women could ask for divorce without establishing any cause at all.

Comments are closed.