Current Status of Marriage Equality in SOUTH AMERICA
Updated 13 October 2013
On 22 July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize gay marriage. The law also allows same-sex couples to adopt.
Constitutional bans against same-sex marriage and adoption.
On 14 May 2013 the council overseeing ’s judiciary ruled that notary publics cannot refuse to perform ceremonies, a decision that effectively legalized marriage for same-sex couples throughout Brazil. The decision took effect on 16 May 2013. Courtesy of the New York Times: "... there is some room for judicial appeals of the Brazilian decision, potentially within the high court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, and resistance may emerge in Congress, where gay-marriage legislation has faced opposition from an influential bloc of evangelical Christian lawmakers. Even so, supporters of same-sex marriage described the council’s decision as pioneering." The Social Christian Party filed an appeal on 21 May 2013 with the Supreme Court arguing that the council's ruling was unconstitutional because Congress has not approved it.
Same-sex marriage is pending.
Same-sex marriage should have become legal in Columbia after a 20 June 2013 deadline passed without the nation's lawmakers passing legislation to extend same-sex couples the same benefits guaranteed to heterosexual married couples. Dozens of same-sex couples attempted to register their relationships once the June 20 deadline passed, but were issued a document declaring their "solemn union" instead of marriage. The LGBT organization Colombia Diversa argued that there is no legal structure to recognize a "solemn union" in Colombia's family code, and since Congress failed to meet the June 20 deadline set by the Constitutional Court, same-sex couples should automatically be allowed to marry, as it's the only way to guarantee them the same rights and privileges afforded to opposite-sex couples. On 2 October 2013 the first gay union declared a marriage was annulled by Judge Eduardo Diaz; on 24 October 2013 the Superior Court of Bogota disagreed with Diaz' ruling and upheld the marriage. At the present time same-sex marriage is legal in Colombia and future appeals to the Superior Court's decison are as yet unknown.
In 2009 Ecuador became the first country in South America where same-sex civil union couples are legally recognized as a family and share all the same rights of married heterosexual couples. There is a constituional ban against adoption by same-sex couples.
Same-sex relationships have been reconized since 2005; same-sex marriage is not legal; adoption by same-sex couples is legal.
Civil unions, Pacte civil de solidarité, have been legal since 1999.
Same-sex sexual activities for males is illegal; no relationship protection or recognition.
Constitutional ban on civil unions and same-sex marriage since 1992.
Uruguay became the first country in South America to allow civil unions (for both opposite sex and same-sex couples) in a national platform on 1 January 2008. Child adoption by same-sex couples has been legal since 2009. President José Mujica signed the same-gender civil marriage bill on 3 May 2013. Marriage licenses with a 90-day waiting period began being issued on 5 August 2013 - an exception to the waiting perioed was made for one gay couple as one of the men was dying from cancer. Actual marriages began on 23 August 2013.
Civil union bill passed first reading, becomes law if passes second. There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples explicitly in the Venezuelan law.