In a 23 to 8 vote, the Uruguayan Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that brings the country one step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage. If passed, the bill would implement gender-neutral terms in marriage licenses and change the definition of civil marriage to “the permanent union, under the law, of two people of different or the same sex.”
The 23 senators who voted in favor of the bill include all of the Broad Front (Frente Amplio—FA) lawmakers, as well as seven opposition senators from the National Party (Partido Nacional) and the Red Party (Partido Colorado). The House of Deputies approved a similar bill last December. Before the bill can become law, the lower chamber will have to ratify the senate amendments.
While the measure has been sharply criticized by the Catholic Church, the bill fits into Uruguayan President José Mujica’s left-leaning policies. President Mujica supports the bill and has committed to signing it into law once it passes the legislature.
If the bill becomes law, Uruguay would become the second Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage after Argentina