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Uruguay Legalizes Gay Marriage
April 11, 2013 8:39 AM   Subscribe

With 71 votes from the Chamber of Deputies, Uruguay became the third country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage. From the article: While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words "husband and wife" in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral "contracting parties."
posted by zizzle (54 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
*Comps up tourism pitch- BE GAY IN URUGUAY!*
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 AM on April 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Uruguary, have I told you how pretty you are lately?

Well, consider it said (though "contracting parties" sounds a bit chilly).
posted by Kitteh at 8:45 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read this first as "Uganda" and was pleasantly astounded.

Someday ...
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:46 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


*Comps up tourism pitch- BE GAY IN URUGUAY!*

That slogan could get even better if they were to hire George Takei as a spokesperson.

And good on you for jumping into the gay marriage pool, Uruguay. The water's fine! Love, Canada.
posted by orange swan at 8:50 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Look at this country! U R GAY!"

In all seriousness, way to go Uruguay!
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 8:54 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I believe Norway went to "gender neutral" route too. Though I don't know how many other countries have.
posted by Jehan at 8:55 AM on April 11, 2013


Previously on how cool their President is.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:57 AM on April 11, 2013


Well, consider it said (though "contracting parties" sounds a bit chilly).
I kind of like that; feel like the state-approbation aspect should be same for all and can be flat and legalese, then people can make it as romantic or pragmatic as they feel like.
posted by Abiezer at 9:02 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Suck on that, Paraguay.
posted by dr_dank at 9:04 AM on April 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yay, Uruguay!
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:06 AM on April 11, 2013


"contracting parties" sounds a bit chilly

Maybe it sounds better in Spanish.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:09 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words "husband and wife" in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral "contracting parties."

This is interesting language but it still strikes me as ambiguous. I'm assuming there are still restrictions on contracting parties; does anyone know what they are? Both must be adults seems like a given. But do both need to be able to provide consent (such as in cases of physical or mental disability)? What about if both contracting parties are related? Can a brother and sister enter into such a contract? Mother-son? Cousins? I know that's not the central issue, I'm just curious where the limits are.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:09 AM on April 11, 2013


I read this first as "Uganda" and was pleasantly astounded.

Yeah, I did this too, that would have been a hell of a turnaround!
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:16 AM on April 11, 2013


Arsenio, the phrase I was looking for was natural persons, although I don't know where Uruguay stand on corporate personhood and the exact clause isn't stated.
posted by jaduncan at 9:17 AM on April 11, 2013


Yeah, I did this too, that would have been a hell of a turnaround!

the third country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage.

...it certainly would have.
posted by jaduncan at 9:18 AM on April 11, 2013


But do both need to be able to provide consent (such as in cases of physical or mental disability)?

I fail to see how physical disability bars consent.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:25 AM on April 11, 2013


Also, WOOP WOOP FOR URUGUAY! That is all.
posted by jaduncan at 9:27 AM on April 11, 2013


Well, consider it said (though "contracting parties" sounds a bit chilly).

Speak for yourself. Zombie Ayn Rand thinks it sounds hott.
posted by The Tensor at 9:37 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Vast vast majority of folks with -any- disability are perfectly competent to give knowledgeable consent
posted by edgeways at 9:39 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


GREAT POINTS. You have schooled me so; I am chagrined.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:41 AM on April 11, 2013


Perhaps we can charitably put the disability thing down to awkward writing on Arsenio's part; I think the question itself (where does Uruguay, or other nations for that matter, draw the line with regard to who can and cannot enter into a marriage contract) is still an interesting one and if someone has the time to dig up an answer I too would love to see that.
posted by Scientist at 9:46 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Both must be adults seems like a given.

The article mentions that the law in question also raises the age at which one can get married from 12(!) for girls and 14 for boys to 16 across the board.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:49 AM on April 11, 2013


Meanwhile, a Missouri man is arrested at a hospital for refusing to leave his partner. Congratulations, Missouri, you're lagging behind Uruguary.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:54 AM on April 11, 2013


Meanwhile, a Missouri man is arrested at a hospital for refusing to leave his partner. Congratulations, Missouri , you're lagging behind Uruguary.

What's wrong with Uruguay?
posted by jessssse at 9:55 AM on April 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


the third country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage

The Netherlands have a presence in the Americas. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands for over a decade.
posted by Nomyte at 9:55 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


"What's wrong with Uruguay?" - Frank Zappa's little-known followup to "What's New In Baltimore?"
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:57 AM on April 11, 2013


What's wrong with Uruguay?

Nothing, it's fabulous!
posted by entropicamericana at 9:58 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you haven't been to a contracting party, you have no idea what you're missing.
posted by brundlefly at 10:05 AM on April 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe it sounds better in Spanish.

Not necessarily, but in Spanish we say that people "contract marriage" so it's not out of the blue.
posted by ipsative at 10:06 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you haven't been to a contracting party

A contracting party sounds like the way my parents would just stick us kids all in the same bed so we would get all the childhood diseases at the same time instead of dragging it out. Only, possibly with little hats and cake.

Yay Uruguay! I hope my state will soon follow.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:15 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


/URUGUAY, and the rest will follow/
/Be gender-blind, don't be so shallow!/
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


That slogan could get even better if they were to hire George Takei as a spokesperson.

In all fairness though, can you really think of a single product that wouldn't be made better by having George Takei as the spokesman?

"DeWalt Drills! Oh My."
posted by quin at 10:25 AM on April 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


In vengeance for Alan and Roger, and probably in line with that state's views on Anglicisation, I propose that we unilaterally rename "Missouri" to "Misery"
posted by forgetful snow at 10:29 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words "husband and wife" in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral "contracting parties."

I may be mistaken, but I don't think this is unique to Uruguay. If I recall correctly, the form my wife and I filled out for our marriage license had fields for "Partner 1" and "Partner 2" or something like that. Of course, marriage falls under provincial jurisdiction in Canada, so this may vary from province to province.

Either way, this is great to hear.
posted by asnider at 10:31 AM on April 11, 2013


*UNGAY LEGALIZES GAY MARRIAGE*

what the nuts???

URUGUAY Legalizes Gay Marriage

Oh! that makes sense. Good for Y'all.
(f'n dyslexia! Stoopid Brain.)
posted by djrock3k at 10:33 AM on April 11, 2013


While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words "husband and wife" in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral "contracting parties."

I think this wording is awesome because it sets the precedent for future family decisions to be legal contracts. For example, the decision to have kids could one day be a legal contract - once both parties learn of the pregnancy, they'd essentially "opt in" to a joint agreement taking financial and personal responsibility for the children. If one party doesn't want to have kids, they could "opt out" of the contract in which case the other party would have to assume full liability, unless they decided to opt out as well (and of course if both partners opt out, they would have an abortion). I think that forcing people to assume full liability for their own decisions - and preventing them from forcing their decisions on others - would discourage people from having kids (or pressuring their partners to have kids) for stupid reasons. This is a great step forwards, not just for gay people but for anybody who believes in a world where everybody possesses the self-determination to choose their own future.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:37 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If anyone is interested and can read spanish, I found a handout listing all the proposed substitutions and the original wording here. This was handed out to the senate a month ago, but I don't think anything major changed since it went to the house of representatives.
posted by kiskar at 10:45 AM on April 11, 2013


If one party doesn't want to have kids, they could "opt out" of the contract in which case the other party would have to assume full liability, unless they decided to "opt-out" as well (ie, if both partners "opt-out," they would have an abortion)

Are you kidding me? This could be abused in so many horrific ways, and denies a woman control over her own body. For instance, a guy could say he wanted to have kids regardless of what his wife wants, refuse to let his wife get birth control, and then impregnate her (likely through marital rape), at which point she's forced to choose between giving up the child that she was solely responsible for providing a biological home for or agreeing to be a partner in a legal contract that she didn't agree to in the first place with someone who forced his will on her in multiple ways.

No...just, no.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:49 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bad Comedian: "In Spanish, you can say that you contract marriage. Makes marriage sound like the flu! Which sounds like my marriage! Too bad I caught it!"
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:58 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Qué guay, Uruguay!
posted by ersatz at 11:09 AM on April 11, 2013


Uruguay is so gay. In a good way!
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:12 AM on April 11, 2013


It is fascinating to me that so many countries with long histories of very close government and/or cultural ties to the Catholic Church have nonetheless passed laws allowing for same-sex marriage.

Yay, Uruguay!
posted by rtha at 11:29 AM on April 11, 2013


I've been a supporter of the Uruguay Men's National Team in soccer for a while now.

Now I have yet another reason to wear my Uruguay kits around. (my coworkers love them, they call them my 'sun and sky shirts') Congratulations and thank you, Uruguay!
posted by spinifex23 at 11:50 AM on April 11, 2013


The Netherlands have a presence in the Americas. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands for over a decade.

But same-sex marriage has only been possible in part of the Caribbean Netherlands since last October and the decision doesn't seem to have been made locally. I think it would take a Dutch person (i.e. not me) to explain precisely why the parts of the Netherlands Antilles (which broke up in 2010) that acquired 'special municipality' status didn't simply acquire the marriage laws from the (rest of the) Netherlands, but they didn't. (Wikipedia makes it sound like that would have been the logical thing to have happen, but it didn't happen.) The rest of what was the Netherlands Antilles don't have same-sex marriage, but they recognise Dutch same-sex marriages.

Similarly, if/when Guadeloupe gets same sex marriage because it's a French DOM I don't think it's going to say a whole lot about Guadeloupe or the Americas. It'll say something about France as a whole, a small bit of which happens to be located off the coast of South America.
posted by hoyland at 12:00 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sadly, no one is still gay for Moleman.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:01 PM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Meanwhile, a Missouri man is arrested at a hospital for refusing to leave his partner. Congratulations, Missouri , you're lagging behind Uruguary."


I was really pleased with that local FOX news affiliate's framing of the story. It gives me hope for the future.


also, yay Uraguay!
posted by el io at 12:04 PM on April 11, 2013


Congratulations, Missouri, you're lagging behind Uruguary.

Really now. I get the sentiment--kind of--but just because Uruguay is in Latin America (and is "exotic" enough that a number of people are having trouble even spelling it) doesn't mean it's some curious backwater. It's small but it's wealthy and its human development indicators are above average even among the developed world...it's basically the Singapore of South America.
posted by psoas at 1:12 PM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


asnider: "If I recall correctly, the form my wife and I filled out for our marriage license had fields for "Partner 1" and "Partner 2" or something like that. Of course, marriage falls under provincial jurisdiction in Canada, so this may vary from province to province."

Canada is one of the others.
posted by Mitheral at 8:29 PM on April 11, 2013


Canada is one of the others.

I think the sentence from the article ansider was responding to was really ambiguous. I don't think they were confused about the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada. Usually when we talk about 'same-sex marriage', we're talking about all couples having access to the same institution, not parellel institutions. It's a really weird sentence coming from the Huffington Post, given that it's an American publication. We would expect the Huffington Post to not refer to British civil partnerships as 'marriage', at least when talking about the institution, for example. (Germany has a parallel, but inequivalent, institution that gets referred to colloquially as 'Homo-Ehe'.)
posted by hoyland at 5:22 AM on April 12, 2013


just because Uruguay is in Latin America (and is "exotic" enough that a number of people are having trouble even spelling it) doesn't mean it's some curious backwater. It's small but it's wealthy and its human development indicators are above average even among the developed world...it's basically the Singapore of South America.

....And Uruguay has certainly had its share of visitors. The Spanish began visiting in the early 16th century.


Isn't Uruguay a indian word?

Yes, entropic, it is. In fact , it's pronounced "ur-uh-gway" which is Guarani for "river of the painted birds."
posted by entropicamericana at 7:22 AM on April 12, 2013


I don't think they were confused about the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada.

And then I wrote a really ambiguous sentence. The 'they' in this sentence is asnider.
posted by hoyland at 9:59 AM on April 12, 2013


I think the sentence from the article ansider was responding to was really ambiguous. I don't think they were confused about the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada.

Yeah, I'm more than aware that same-sex marriage is legal in the country in which I live. The article made it sound like Uruguay is unique in that it uses the same marriage contract for both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages. I was merely pointing out that I don't think this is unique to Uruguay.

I'm not sure what it was about my comment that gave Mitheral the impression that I wasn't aware that Canada allows same-sex marriage.
posted by asnider at 11:04 AM on April 13, 2013


I don't know either, maybe it was the IIRC? Also I didn't mean to imply you didn't know Canada allows same sex marriage. Sorry about that.

At any rate I got curious and started looking around for licence application forms to see what they use. Ontario uses Applicant and Joint Applicant. Newfoundland and Labrador uses Spouse and Spouse. No one else seems to have the forms online probably because you have to apply in person. I can't remember what BC's said though I got married pre-equality.
posted by Mitheral at 5:35 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is fascinating to me that so many countries with long histories of very close government and/or cultural ties to the Catholic Church have nonetheless passed laws allowing for same-sex marriage.

Actually church and state have been separated in Uruguay for almost 100 years.
posted by Fermin at 9:29 PM on April 24, 2013


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