[JURIST] Some 50,000 people marched in Buenos Aires on Saturday in support of gay pride and to encourage the timely approval of legislation set to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. Argentina's Parliament [official website, in Spanish] is currently debating [El Mundo report, in Spanish] the matter of same-sex marriage for the first time. Before the parliament are two proposals that seek to modify numerous laws in the nation's Civil Code [text, in Spanish] that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. A bill [text, in Spanish] proposed by lawmaker Vilma Ibarra [official website, in Spanish] seeks to establish that all references to the institution of marriage in the Civil Code refer equally to homosexual and heterosexual marriages. The second bill [text, in Spanish], signed by many lawmakers, seeks to define marriage as a union between couples of the opposite sex or the same sex, and additionally stipulates that all married couples without exception should be afforded the right to adopt.
Buenos Aires became the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex unions in 2002, and was later followed by four other Argentine cities. Same-sex unions are also currently recognized in Mexico City, and some Brazilian states. Uruguay remains the only Latin American country that has nationally legalized same-sex unions. Uruguay has since expanded the rights given to same-sex couples by passing a law earlier this year allowing same-sex couples to adopt [JURIST report]. Canada [JURIST report] is the only American nation to have legalized same-sex marriage, and Spain [JURIST report] is the only nation in the Spanish-speaking world to have done the same. Both nations legalized gay marriage in 2005.