Uruguayan lawmakers pass gay marriage bill

April 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM
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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, April 11 (UPI) -- A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Uruguay awaits presidential action following lower house approval of the measure.

If President Jose Mujica, who has signaled his support, signs the bill, Uruguay would become the second country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage and the 12th country in the world to do so, CNN reported Thursday.

The bill passed the lower house Wednesday, 71-21, while Uruguay's Senate approved the bill 23-8 last week.

In 2009, Uruguay became the first Latin American country to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. It also was among the first Latin American countries to recognize same-sex civil unions.

Argentina legalized same-sex marriages in 2010.

The Catholic Church opposed the measure in Uruguay, with church officials describing it as a blow to marriage and the family.

The president of Uruguay's Broad Front, a coalition of left-wing political parties backing the measure, said last week the bill is about human rights.

Lawmakers in France and Britain also are considering proposals to legalize same-sex marriage. In the United States, the Supreme Court is deliberating the matter.

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