Same-sex marriage in Argentina
Same-sex marriage in Argentina has been legal since July 22, 2010.
Argentina was the first country in Latin America, the second in the Americas, and the second in the Southern Hemisphere to allow same-sex marriage nationwide. It was the tenth country worldwide to allow same-sex marriage.
In the first decade of the 21st century, civil unions (Spanish: unión civil or unión convivencial) were made legal in four jurisdictions in Argentina: the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (2002), the province of Río Negro (2003), the city of Villa Carlos Paz (2007), and the city of Río Cuarto (2009). Civil unions provide some of the rights granted to married couples and can only be entered into by couples who have lived together for a given time, usually one or two years.
Civil unions were eventually made legal nationwide on 1 August 2015 after the Código Civil y Commercial which replaced the former Civil Code came into effect. Approved by Parliament in October 2014 and promulgated by the President on 7 October 2014, civil unions aren't given the same treatment and status as marriages. However, they are regarded as valid options to form a family and to be legally recognized as one.
On August 19, 2008, the Argentine Government announced that it was allowing cohabiting same-sex couples who have lived together for over five years the right to collect the pensions of their deceased partners. This was the first time that unregistered cohabitation or rights for same-sex partners were recognized nationwide. Consequently, four Argentine labor unions extended National Security System medical benefits to employees' same-sex partners (the system operates jointly with unions in the health care area); the benefits are available to members of teacher, commerce employee, executive, and air-transport personnel unions. In December 2005, a judge ordered prisons across the province of Córdoba to authorize conjugal visits for all gay prisoners and allow sexual relations between inmates who develop relationships in prison.
Two weeks before the 2009 mid-term elections, Justice Minister Aníbal Fernández issued a statement saying that he was in favor of starting a same-sex marriage debate in Congress, that a gender-neutral law would "end discrimination", and that "many people are demanding it." Fernández also said that former President Néstor Kirchner, late husband of at that moment President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, supported having a wider discussion on same-sex marriage in the country. President Fernández de Kirchner's position on same-sex marriage was unknown at the time. Justice Minister Fernández said he was presently "working toward" presenting a draft law to Congress, and that his ministry must first "evaluate all the different aspects of the issue." The bill was never presented. At this time, LGBT rights groups gradually won over members of the Chamber of Deputies to their cause, aided by the decentralized nature of Congressional parties which allowed advocacy groups to post incremental gains.
In late 2009, the Argentine Congress considered two proposals, sponsored by Silvia Augsburger (Socialist Party) and Vilma Ibarra (Nuevo Encuentro), to change Article 172 of the Civil Code. On October 27, 2009, the same-sex marriage bills were debated in the Chamber of Deputies' General Law Committee and the Committee on Family, Women, Children and Youth. Ibarra expressed her desire to have same-sex marriage in Argentina approved by the end of 2009. Debate on the bills continued on November 5 and on November 10, before being postponed and resuming in March 2010. A survey taken at the time found that 70% of Argentines supported legalizing same-sex marriage.
On April 15, 2010, the Chamber of Deputies' General Law Committee and the Committee on Family, Women, Children and Youth recommended the legalization of same-sex marriage. On May 5, 2010, the Chamber of Deputies passed the same-sex marriage bill that also allows same-sex couples to adopt, by a vote of 125 to 109. On July 6, the Senate's General Law Committee recommended rejection of the bill. The bill was originally scheduled to be voted on July 14. After a marathon session that went into the early hours of the next day, on July 15 the Senate passed the same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 33 to 27. On July 21, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner signed the bill into law. On July 22, the law was published in the official gazette and took effect that same day. The law grants same-sex couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage, including the right to adopt children. The first marriages were performed on July 30, 2010.
On July 27, 2012, a Buenos Aires couple, Alejandro Grinblat and Carlos Dermgerd, became the first men in Latin America to obtain double paternity of a newborn. Their baby, Tobías, is the natural son of one of the two men and was born to a surrogate mother. He became the first person in Argentina with a birth certificate listing two fathers.
On November 12, 2009, a court in Buenos Aires approved the marriage of a same-sex couple, Alex Freyre and José María Bello, ruling that articles 172 and 188 of the Civil Code were unconstitutional. The city Chief of Government, Mauricio Macri, said he would not appeal the ruling, but the marriage was blocked on November 30 by another court, pending review by the Supreme Court. In December 2009, the Governor of Tierra del Fuego Province, Fabiana Ríos, ordered the civil registry office to perform and register their marriage. On December 28, the two men were legally wed in Ushuaia, the provincial capital city, making them the first same-sex couple to marry in Latin America. On April 14, 2010, the marriage was declared null and void, but it technically remained legal because the decision was not communicated to the parties. The married couple said that they would appeal the court's decision if notified. The couple announced their divorce in 2015. Journalist Bruno Bimbi revealed that, although the men were both gay, they were not a couple and only acted as such as part of a plan to champion LGBT rights.
On March 10, 2010, a judge in Buenos Aires declared a second same-sex marriage, between Damián Bernath and Jorge Esteban Salazar Capón, illegal. On April 16, a third same-sex marriage between two women was annulled by a judge who ruled that the Buenos Aires Civil Registry limits marriage to a man and a woman. Administrative Judge Elena Liberatori later overturned that decision and ruled the marriage between the two women valid, ordering the Civil Registry of Buenos Aires to deliver the marriage certificate to the court.
Following the first legal same-sex marriage in December 2009, seven other same-sex couples were joined in legal matrimony in Argentina before the national law legalizing same-sex marriage took effect at the end of July 2010. The Supreme Court was hearing several cases concerning the right of same-sex couples to marry. On July 2, 2010, some media reported that the Supreme Court had a prepared ruling concerning María Rachid and Claudia Castro's case that declared articles 172 and 188 of the Civil Code unconstitutional.
Opposition to the legislation
In July 2010, while the law was under consideration, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires (later Pope Francis), wrote a letter to Argentina's cloistered nuns in which he said:
In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts.
Let's not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God's plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that's just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God… Let's look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment... May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.
After L'Osservatore Romano reported this, several priests expressed their support for the law and one was defrocked. Observers believe that the church's strident opposition and Bergoglio's language, which one political opponent characterized as "medieval, reactionary", worked in favor of the law's passage and that Roman Catholic officials learned from their failed campaign against the same-sex marriage law to adopt a different tone in later debates on social issues such as parental surrogacy. As of 2005, more than three-fourths of Argentines identified themselves as Roman Catholics, but less than two-fifths of them attended a religious service at least once a month.
(as of July 2012)
(as of July 2015)
|Autonomous City of Buenos Aires||1,405||2,998|
|Buenos Aires Province||1,455||2,278|
|Entre Ríos Province||128||215|
|La Pampa Province||58||74|
|La Rioja Province||31||49|
|Río Negro Province||64||79|
|San Juan Province||70||76|
|San Luis Province||37||55|
|Santa Cruz Province||35||61|
|Santa Fe Province||664||895|
|Santiago del Estero Province||42||71|
|Tierra del Fuego Province||14||44|
A total of 9,362 same-sex marriages were performed in the first four years following the law's enactment. Of these, 2,683 were celebrated in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and 1,998 in the province of Buenos Aires.
Seven years after the same-sex marriage legislation was approved, more than 16,200 same-sex marriages had taken place in Argentina. 4,286 and 3,836 same-sex marriages were performed in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires, respectively. As Argentine law does not require couples who wish to wed to be Argentinian or residents of Argentina, many couples from abroad have come to Argentina to marry, including many couples from Chile and Paraguay. This, in turn, has made Argentina, and especially Buenos Aires, a very popular marriage destination for same-sex couples.
By July 2018, 18,000 same-sex couples had married in Argentina.
A 2015 Ipsos poll found a 59% majority in favour of same-sex marriage. A further 16% supported civil unions or other forms of legal recognition.
- Forero, Juan (July 15, 2010). "Argentina becomes second nation in Americas to legalize gay marriage". seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- Fastenberg, Dan (July 22, 2010). "International Gay Marriage". Time. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "Same-sex couples legal in BA". Buenos Aires Herald. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "En 5 años, sólo 10 parejas gays pasaron por el Registro Civil". Diario Río Negro (in Spanish). February 3, 2008.
- "Córdoba: aprueban la unión civil entre homosexuales en Villa Carlos Paz". Diario Clarín (in Spanish). November 23, 2008.
- (in Spanish) Río Cuarto: aprueban la unión civil de parejas gays Archived September 3, 2012, at Archive.is, May 7, 2009
- "CÓDIGO CIVIL Y COMERCIAL DE LA NACIÓN" (PDF) (in Spanish). Biblioteca Jurídica Central. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- (in Spanish) Código Civil y Comercial de la Nación[permanent dead link]
- "Libertad con responsabilidad y solidaridad: la regulación de las uniones convivenciales en el Código Civil y Comercial" (in Spanish). Sistema Argentino de Información Juridica. 15 July 2015.
- Argentina grants gay couples partner pensions, CNN, August 19, 2008
- "Judge OKs conjugal visits for gay prisoners". Laht.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "Homosexual Rights Around The World". Web.archive.org. December 10, 2005. Archived from the original on December 10, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "Aníbal Fernández supports parliamentary debate on same-sex marriages". Buenosairesherald.com. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- Díez, Jordi (2015). The Politics of Gay Marriage in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107099142.
- Bolcer, Julie. "Argentina Debates Gay Marriage". Advocate.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Matrimonio homosexual, un derecho en discusión" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Debate el Congreso el matrimonio gay" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "El matrimonio gay es debate parlamentario" (in Spanish). October 27, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Diputados aprobaría este año el proyecto de matrimonio gay" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Avanza en Argentina el debate sobre el matrimonio homosexual con la experiencia del caso español" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Duro rechazo de la Iglesia argentina al casamiento gay" (in Spanish). Translate.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Diputados: la ley del matrimonio gay se postergó para el 2010" (in Spanish). November 10, 2009. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- Long Brenhaug (July 10, 2010). "Congress begins to debate gay marriage". M24 Digital. Archived from the original on March 25, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Diputados ya puede tratar la ley de matrimonio homosexual" (in Spanish). April 15, 2010. Archived from the original on April 19, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "El proyecto sobre matrimonio gay quedó habilitado para ser tratado en el recinto de Diputados" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Lower House votes in favour of same-sex marriage, allows adoption". Buenosairesherald.com. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- "Lower House approves gay marriage". M24 Digital. May 5, 2010. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012.
- Bolcer, Julie (May 4, 2010). "Argentina's Lower House OKs Marriage Bill". The Advocate.
- "This is how the Argentineans representatives voted on the preliminary on gay marriage". M24 Digital. September 22, 2011. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Key Argentine Senate Panel Advises Against Gay Marriage Bill". Ontopmag.com. July 6, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- Warren, Michael (July 15, 2010). "Argentina legalizes gay marriage in historic vote". Google News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- Dwyer Arce (July 15, 2010). "Argentina Senate passes same-sex marriage legislation". JURIST – Paper Chase.
- "Upper House approves same-sex marriage bill after marathon-like debate". Buenosairesherald.com. July 13, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "CFK enacts same-sex marriage law, says 'we live in a more equal society'". Buenosairesherald.com. July 21, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "President Cristina Fernandez Ratifies Argentine Gay Marriage Law". Ontopmag.com. July 21, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "Argentina's gay marriage law signed by president". Signonsandiego.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- (in Spanish) Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina Buenos Aires, jueves 22 de julio de 2010 Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- (in Spanish) Se publicó en el Boletín Oficial la ley de matrimonio homosexual Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Mail Foreign Service (July 15, 2010). "Argentina defies Catholic Church and becomes first Latin America country to legalise gay marriage". Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "BA couple becomes first same-sex marriage in the city". Buenosairesherald.com. July 30, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "Argentine gay couple tie knot under new marriage law". BBC. July 30, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "Gay couple's baby a first in Argentina". CNN. August 6, 2012.
- Argentina issues its first same-sex parent birth certificate Gay Star News
- "Argentine Court Opens Door To Gay Marriage". Ontopmag.com. November 14, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Judge authorizes Argentina's first gay marriage". M24 Digital. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Buenos Aires mayor won't appeal same-sex ruling". CNN. November 14, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Macri will not appeal the ruling that enabled a gay wedding". M24 Digital. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Argentine judge stops gay marriage". BBC News. November 30, 2009.
- "Argentine gay couple becomes first in region to marry". BBC News. December 29, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- Andrés Duque (April 14, 2010). "Argentina: Tierra del Fuego court annuls first Latin American same-sex marriage". Blabbeando.blogspot.com. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- Duque, Andrés (April 14, 2010). "Argentina: Tierra del Fuego court annulls first Latin American same-sex marriage". Blabbeando. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "Abogada de pareja gay asegura que "el matrimonio está vigente"" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "El primer matrimonio gay aseguró no haber recibido la notificación sobre la "inexistencia" del enlace". La Nación (in Spanish). July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "Boda gay: "Seguimos legalmente casados"". 26Noticias (in Spanish). Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "Revelan que el matrimonio de Alex Freyre y José Di Bello fue por militancia" [They reveal that the marriage of Alex Freyre and José Di Bello was for activism] (in Spanish). La Nación. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "Argentina judge revokes same-sex 'marriage' decision". Catholicnewsagency.com. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Judge declares "null and non existent" first lesbian marriage in Argentina". En.mercopress.com. April 17, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Argentine Judges Nix Gay Nuptials". Santiagotimes.cl. April 18, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Judge now reaffirms Argentina's first lesbian marriage". Gaynewswatch.com. April 19, 2010. Archived from the original on November 9, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
- "Eighth Gay Couple Marries In Argentina". Ontopmag.com. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- "El matrimonio gay en Argentina podría tener luz verde si la Corte autoriza dos casos". Frecuencia Gay (in Spanish). November 21, 2009. Archived from the original on December 26, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- (in Spanish) Matrimonio homosexual: Corte Suprema ya tendría escrito el fallo a favor
- (in Spanish) La Corte Suprema ya tendría preparado un fallo a favor del matrimonio gay Archived July 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- Pentin, Edward (8 July 2010). "Cardinal Bergoglio Hits Out at Same-Sex Marriage". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Feder, J. Lester (13 March 2013). "Pope Francis Brings Lessons Of Argentina's Marriage Fight To Rome". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- (in Spanish) Abrevaya, Sebastian (27 August 2012). "Se abroquelan para defender privilegios". Pagina 12. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- (in Spanish) De Vedia, Mariano (16 July 2010). "La carta de Bergoglio, un error estratégico". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Argentina". National Profiles. Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- (in Spanish) Primera Encuestra Sobre Creencias y Actitudes Religiosas en Argentina Archived October 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- (in Spanish) En todo el país, ya se casaron más de seis mil parejas homosexuales
- (in Spanish) A 5 años de la ley de matrimonio igualitario, casi 10.000 parejas se casaron: ¿Qué cambió en la familia argentina?
- "A cuatro años de la sanción de la Ley del Matrimonio Igualitario, más de 9 mil parejas se casaron en Argentina". El Intransigente (in Spanish). July 15, 2014.
- "A cuatro años de la sanción de la ley, más de 9.300 parejas del mismo sexo se casaron en la Argentina". Télam (in Spanish). July 15, 2014.
- (in Spanish) En siete años de matrimonio igualitario, se casaron más de 16.200 parejas
- Buenos Aires is becoming a mecca for gay marriage tourism
- (in Spanish) Argentina celebra 8 años de aprobada la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario
- Religion in Latin America Chapter 5: Social Attitudes
- Religion in Latin America Appendix A: Methodology
- This Is How Many People Support Same-Sex Marriage In 23 Countries Around The World