Gay Marriage in Latin America (& Springsteen)…

December 31, 2009

I was browsing the Time.com website a few days ago and came across a story entitled “Latin America’s First Gay Marriage.” [It was not a Time exclusive by any means and made its rounds to each major news outlet.] Intrigued, I clicked on the link and read through the quick account of one couple’s struggle to become husband and husband in South America. The couple, gay rights figures Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre, were wed on Monday December 28th in a press-laden ceremony in the southernmost province of Argentina, the Tierra del Fuego.

The couple had previously attempted to wed in Buenos Aires, but were stopped by Argentine officials who claimed that conflicting judicial rulings did not authorize a homosexual marriage to proceed. Argentinian law does not distinguish marriage as a union between man and woman, leaving the issue (for better or worse) in a static haze. The episode in B.A. and the inevitable move to and marriage in Tierra del Fuego suggests that individual states within Argentina are given carte blanche to define their own marriage laws (and discriminatory practices, as the case may be). This will soon change in the country: a universal bill that would legalize gay marriage was introduced to their Congress in October. Though it has yet to be addressed with a vote, the decision made will likely cement whether or not these couples can continue to exist or will have to retreat to Canada to marry.

Nevertheless, to me, this story is distressing. I do not know whether couples like this are facilitating the passage of gay marriage legislation or shedding light on chinks in the heterosexual political edifice to be filled. What advantage is won through loopholes? Is that really progress? A very happy future to this couple, but their marriage may be voided as a result of the real democratic process that their marriage brings to the fore. Ignore California’s 18,000 wacky tolerances. In the real world, bullshit like that doesn’t exist. And soon may not in Argentina.

This couple was refused a marriage certificate by the city they finally were to be wed in. This is only because they were backed by the (thankfully liberal) Tierra del Fuego state, whose (amazing) Governor stated that gay marriage “is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state.” But the city did not authorize it! Until the gay community has engendered the support of cities, states and, vitally, individuals, there cannot be universal rights shared among us all. People will always be contrary bastards.

In any case, congrats Latin America on achieving what New York (New-fucking-York) has yet to do! Yes, Mexico City, you get kudos here, too.

But here is something to think about. Bruce Springsteen recently wrote an open note on his website regarding gay marriage legislation up for vote in Trenton (that is in New Jersey, folks). Have a read and respect the Boss more than ever:

“Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I’ve been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I’ve long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, “The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is — a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.”

Well done on receiving the Kennedy Center Honor, Bruce. Keep up the good work.

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One Response to “Gay Marriage in Latin America (& Springsteen)…”

  1. […] This appears to be the day of unfortunate updates to previous entries. This one accompanies a previous entry I made, called Gay marriage in Latin America (& Springsteen). […]

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