Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Argentina: Congress will pass marriage equality bill tonight, Senate approval in doubt

5th same-sex marriage approved, quickly annulled:

Saturday saw the 5th marriage between a same-sex couple in Argentina. This time, it was Argentine-born citizen Alejandro Luna and his foreign-born French partner Gilles Grall ("The country's fifth gay couple marries", Los Andes, May 1, 2010).

Maria Rachid, Director of The Argentinian LGBT Federation (FALGBT), the organization that has been at the forefront in pushing a legislative and judicial marriage equality front in the country, said that the couple had married because they loved each other and because, only through marriage, would Luna be able to sponsor Grall for immigration rights.

Alas, of the four previous same-sex marriages in the country, three had been annulled by the time a court gave Luna and Grall the go ahead (one of those three annulled marriages was later ruled valid again, though. Confusing, no?).

Anyway, today, a court also annulled Luna and Grall's 3-day marriage as well ("Justice once again annuls a gay marriage", InfoBae, May 4, 2010).  In short, of the five marriages that have been approved, only two remain standing.

Congressional debate TONIGHT: This happened even as LGBT marriage equality advocates FINALLY were able to push a marriage equality bill for a full debate on the floor of the House of Deputies. Previous attempts during the past few days were sidelined due to a lack of a legislative quorum in the building.

The debate started at 2pm EST today and a vote is not expected to come until 2am at the earliest.  Rumors are that former Argentinian president Nestor Kirchner (husband of current Argentinian president Cristina Férnandez de Kirchner) has arrived and will vote in favor of the marriage equality bill as will others affiliated with the ruling government.

My sources say that the uphill battle was getting the bill to the floor and that there are enough votes in House to pass the marriage equality bill tonight once the actual vote comes. But they also say that the true battle will be in the more conservative Senate where it will be an uphill battle to get it to the floor for debate AND to secure enough votes to pass it.

UPDATE: Argentinean congress passes marriage equality bill by a vote of 129-105

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