Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Argentina: Gay 81 year old widow granted pension benefits

As my friend Rex Wockner reported in his syndicated international news column (posted here by PrideSource), on August 18th the government of Argentina decided to expand pension coverage to same-sex couples.

Today, as Los Andes reports, 81 year old Alfredo Pascale (above), became the first person in the country to gain access to his partner's pension benefits as celebrated today in an emotional public ceremony ("An 81 year old man is the first gay man to be pensioned").

Pascale, who was partnered with José Miguel Castro for 59 years and lived together with him for 47 years (before Castro died in 1996), had spent 11 years fighting the courts for recognition. He said that he felt extremely moved by the recognition and that it seemed "unreal to be able to express myself like this, as freely," adding "I would have loved to live like this during all that time with him."

Present at the ceremony was Cesar Cigliutti, president of the LGBT-rights organization Argentinean Homosexual Community (CHA) and his partner Marcelo Suntheim who also works for the CHA.

You might know their names from the fact that Marcelo and Cesar were the first couple in Argentina to be united under a historic civil union pact in Buenos Aires back in 2003 (the first such law in all of Latin America) or because the CHA was also instrumental in last week's recognition of a transgender person's right to change their name of birth even if they did not have gender reassignment surgery (that's Cesar on the left in this picture I featured in yesterday's post).

No comments: