March 11, 2014
BA mayor not to appeal ruling allowing gay marriage
The City of Buenos Aires government announced yesterday it will not appeal a judge’s ruling that paves the way for same-sex marriages in Buenos Aires. The statemement came after a judge ruled it was unconstitutional not to allow a homosexual couple to marry.
City Mayor Mauricio Macri said in a statement the decision “is an important step, because we must learn how to live in freedom without hurting the rights of others.”
The mayor added that the decision was the result “of an important internal debate,” aiming to “improve the liberties” of the citizens.
The ruling was issued by Judge Gabriela Seijas earlier this week. Buenos Aires became the region’s first city to approve civil unions between same sex couples in 2002. The decision may increase pressure on lawmakers to debate the gay marriage bill which is currently deadlocked in Congress.
“The law should treat everyone with the same respect according to their singularities, without the need to understand or regulate them,” Seijas said in her ruling.
The couple, Alex Freyre and Jose María Di Bello, said in a statement posted on a gay rights Internet site that the decision would allow them to become “the first gay couple in Latin America to get the right to marry.”
In April, a Civil Registry turned down a petition made by Freyre, aged 39, and Di Bello, 41. The couple then filed an injunction and the court ruled in their favour this week on the basis that gender discrimination in unconstitutional. Civil unions in Buenos Aires and several other Argentine cities grant same sex couples some but not all the rights of married couples.
Elsewhere in Latin America, same sex civil unions are allowed in Uruguay and Mexico City. — Herald staff with Reuters