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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aníbal Fernández supports parliamentary debate on same-sex marriages

Justice Minister Aníbal Fernández.

Justice Minister Aníbal Fernández today said he was in favour of starting a debate in Congress to create same-sex marriages in Argentina, which he described as "a tool that might prevent discrimination."

During a radio interview, Aníbal Fernández reacted to complaints from homosexual groups in the country criticizing that the current adoption law does not contemplate gay couples in adoption applications.

"In Argentina there can be single parent adoptions, and nobody will ask those people are they are homosexual or heterosexual," he asserted. However, this will mean the legal recognition of only one of the child's adoptive parents, which is the core of the criticism from gay rights' organizations.

Same-sex legal unions are legal allowed in Buenos Aires City and the Córdoba district of Carlos Paz. However, the courts have ruled against different lawsuits presented by homosexuals' organizations that claimed the current marriage law — which only contemplates marriages between two people of different sexes — is against the constitutional principle of equality.

Same-sex marriages, the minister added, should be the centre of an "extended debate in Congress" because "many people are demanding it." He also said ex-president Néstor Kirchner, who is running for a seat in the Lower House in the mid-term elections, supports the discussion of gay marriages in Parliament. The remarks of Aníbal Fernández came only two weeks ahead of the mid-term ballot.

The minister said he is currently "working toward" presenting a law-draft to Congress, but he claimed his ministry must first to "evaluate all the different aspects of the issue."

 

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