Buenos Aires may allow foreign gay couples to marry in the city

Edmund Broch April 6, 2012
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Argentina, which extended the definition of marriage in 2010 to include same-sex couples, and was the first country in Latin America to do so, may make it legal for gay foreigners to get married on their soil, and in Buenos Aires, in particular.

The considerations come on the back of urging by LGBT activists and the travel industry, as the capital is particularly popular with gay tourists. In the Province of Santa Fe, restrictions have already been eased to the extent that gay couples can get married within a week of their residency in the area.

Just last month, Simón Cazal and Sergio Lopez, both of Paraguay, became the first foreign same-sex couple to get married in Argentina. The ceremony took place in Rosario, a city roughly 300 km northwest of Buones Aires, where no right of residency is required for marriage, same-sex or heterosexual.

The federal government in Argentina had already promised that the Same-Sex Marriage Act would me amended to include LGBT visitors from other countries. Now, a lawmaker in Buenos Aires has introduced a draft bill in the City Legislature to allow foregin gay couples to marry therein without the need for a local address.

Maria Rachid argues that Article 20 of the country’s constitution stipulates that “while on Argentine territory, all foreigners are protected by the citizens’ civil rights … they can make up their will and get married in accordance to the law.”

According to the proposed draft, non-resident gay and lesbian couples will only be asked to present the authorities with a photocopy of their passport, containing an entry stamp, temporary address and the duration of their visit to Argentina.

Also, Rachid explained that the goal is to “put what the Constitution says into practice, since we can’t keep foreigners from a constitutional warranty such as marriage, by asking them, as the City’s Civil Registry demands, that at least one of the spouses have a DNI national identity card.”

“No inferior regulations nor internal resolutions can damage the essence of this right, which is guaranteed” by the Constitution, Ms Rachid added in her press statement.

There is at the moment no specific indication of a time-frame as to when the bill might become legally binding.

More: Americas, Argentina, Argentina, foreigners, gay marriage, gay tourism

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