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Argentina Moving Toward Gay Marriage Rights
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: March 1, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Buenos Aires) Legislation will be presented in Argentina's Parliament this fall that would give same-sex couples all of the rights of marriage.  

Currently the law limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. However the country does afford gay and lesbian couples some rights including inheritance, adoption and survivor pensions.

Two regions of the country permit civil unions - the province of R�o Negro and the federal district of Buenos Aires. 

In 2003 Rio Negro became the first area in South America to permit civil unions.

A poll released this week shows that three-quarters of those surveyed in the capital believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry.  Only 25 percent disagreed.

The national civil unions bill would give same-sex couples all of the rights of marriage without the name.  It was written with the support of the country's largest LGBT civil rights group, the Argentinean Homosexual Community.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa and the state of Massachusetts. At least 18 countries offer some form of legal recognition to same-sex unions.

In 2005 a judge ordered prison authorities in central Argentine province of C�rdoba to allow conjugal visits between gay prisoners and their partners.

The Catholic Church is opposed to any legal recognition of same-sex relationships and has vowed to fight the proposed federal bill.

� 2007


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