BBC: Argentine Senate backs bill legalising same sex marriage

Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to legalise gay marriage after the Senate voted in favour.

The country’s Chamber of Deputies had already approved the legislation.

The vote in the Senate, which backed the bill by just six votes, came after 14 hours of at times heated debate.

The law, which also allows same-sex couples to adopt, had met with fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and other religious groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Argentina, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, South America

17 comments on “BBC: Argentine Senate backs bill legalising same sex marriage

  1. A Senior Priest says:

    Why not? In secular society, any two people ought to be able to marry, make a domestic partnership, or whatever you want to call it. As to religious marriages, however, they should be conditioned by the principles of the religion in question.

  2. Br. Michael says:

    1, why only 2? Why should the state determine what sort of relationship people want to be in or the number in that relationship? And why should a relationship get its members any sort of privilege that singles dont get?

  3. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Br. Michael (#2),

    Naturally, I side with you. Marriage is the bedrock foundation upon which any society is built. And tampering with it is disastrous, especially for the children. And that’s the argument I always focus on in a secular context, i.e., that the state has a strong and justified interest in fostering the best posssible environment for the raising of its youngest and most vulnerable members. And countless objective, scientific studies prove beyond a reasonable doubt that children thrive best in a home with two parents, who are husband and wife. That’s not Christian bias; it’s an objective fact. There is such a thing as “natural law.”

    Alas, the travesty of legalizing SSM has happened already in Spain, so why not in Argentina? Abortion has likewise been legalized in “Catholic” countries like Italy, over the vehement objections of Catholic Church leaders.

    Which all goes to show once again that the old Christendom arrangement has totally broken down, and western societies everywhere are calling an end to the old marriage of Christianity and western civilization. Such a post-Christendom social setting calls for a radically transformed, post-Christendom style Church that’s capable of being the salt of the earth, and a bright and shining light amid the deepening cultural darkness.

    David Handy+

  4. Larry Morse says:

    You are only half right, #1. Any two (or three or four) people ought to be able to set up a civil partnership because that alone is a civil question. Marriage is a religious question and the civil world has no business attempting to regulate it. And the other question ytou8o have not answered: Why not three people or four, or a woman and her pet cat, as #2 asked. Why not any arrangement at all, when there are no standards any more?
    Obviously David ,I agree with you. Just tell me how you get the church to become a shining light all of a sudden. And if the people who are in cultural darkness are convinced they are the cultural llight and the church is in cultural darkness, how do you convince them that their light is darkness when they are able to find their way around perfectly well in a world that they can see perfectly well?

  5. First Family Virginian says:

    Of course … as things stand … the state regulates marriage … not the church. Unless the state is willing to offer only civil arrangements and put marriage fully within the realm of the Church … your argument is very weak.

  6. Br. Michael says:

    5, ?. Of course. The state can do what ever it wants. All the comments have been directed to what is the criteria the state uses. So far the consensus is not bloody much.

  7. Larry Morse says:

    #5. Not weak, simply avoidable. In this country, what else SHOULD a state, for 1st Amend reasons offer except civil partnerships? If marriage is not a spiritual undertaking, why do we use vows instead of signatures on contracts? Marriage shouldn’t necessarily be place solely inside denominations, but it SHOULD be outside the regulatory grasp of the civil state. L

  8. ahub says:

    This is too bad…as marriage is a natural union. For Christians marriage is also a spiritual union under God and the most complete of human unions. We should not forget that governments should be obeying the natural laws that have been set out for the whole human race.
    You don’t have to be a Christian to see how marriage should be between one man and one woman for the sake of children and blessed friendship…however, it certainly helps. It is for the good of the country to follow the natural law.

  9. Br. Michael says:

    All, why should the state allow any sort of partnerships at all? Why should partners of any description be treated differently than singles? Why should singles be deprived of equal treatment under the law? Why should partnered people get any benefit that that singles don’t get? Is there any rational basis or reason the state can give that supports this different treatment?

  10. Larry Morse says:

    #8 Marriage is natural union? What? What does this mean? Marriage is a social construct, is it not? Larry

  11. ahub says:

    There are different ways to understand “natural”. Here I mean natural in the same way that I think it is natural for people to form communities and cities and countries. Marriage and cities and are the natural outcome of people trying to figure out how to live out their social intuitions. I am certain that humans are social creatures by nature. The family is the first stage in the building of a larger community (family > tribe > city > country). Over the years, humans across cultures have found that marriage is the best way to live in community (the family). So, it is more like marriage is a social discovery than a social construct…though it can be thought of in both ways. Either way, it is natural in the sense that I described above. This is natural thinking…not even revelation, which provides us with the example of Adam and Eve.

    Br. Michael,
    Partnered people? I can only answer you as far as “partnered” means “heterosexual marriage”. Marriages are of great benefit to the state. They provide for mostly stable families where the state tax base and military is continual provided for by the offspring of the marriages. This means that their citizens will be basically good. Heterosexual marriage also helps to make more virtuous/ less vicious citizens (as St. Paul points out) in that they are not so licentious. So, for these very important reasons, married people should get benefits (tax breaks, etc.) back from the state. Also, the state has to provide married people with special rights towards each other, so that when one is ill the other can make certain very important decisions for them.

  12. Larry Morse says:

    Beg pardon #11, but I think marriage is not the best way to live in a community. Pairing up clearly was long centuries ago. for in the pair, each can cover the other’s back, as we now say, and the tribe provided the collective covering. Marriage, vows and all, rooted in love, not social self defense, is a social construction, arising from the fragmentation of the tribe and the clan. When these were whole, there was no need to marry. In our society, where fragmentation is the norm, distrust and manipulation for profit the standard of essential social success, then marriage becomes a desperate necessity, for without it one’s back is continually uncovered – unless you are a liberal, in which case you believe that it is the government’s responsibility to cover it for you. Love, it turns out, is alone capable of standing the test, for one who loves will sacrifice himself for the one he loves; Christ is the paradigm. And love is NOT inside the purview of government regulation, for it cannot be regulated – thank God (he said quite literally.), however much the liberals and homosexuals think it can.
    Sarah Orne Jewett put this matter nicely: “The heart cannot be called; it only goes where it is sent.” And the government is going to bring THIS under civil law? Imagine what the legislation would look like: Love must be granted under the following circumstances, the breaching of which is a felony and the offender liable to civil as well as criminal charges….

  13. ahub says:

    What is the best way to have the best heterosexual community? What exactly do you mean by “pairing up”? Also, do you disagree with my defining marriage as a natural good? Do you disagree that marriages are good for the state (yet, not only for the state, of course)?
    You seem to chastise me for pointing out that marriage is essential for community and keeps communities from falling apart…and yet you say that marriage has become a desperate necessity in order to protect yourself. Is marriage unnecessary in a good city, then? If marriage is rooted in love, how is it a social construction, especially since the heart simply “goes where it is sent”, as you quoted?
    Yes, I agree that love cannot be regulated…but we must recognize that love (charity) cannot be regulated…but that love (eros) should be regulated. There are many layers to marriage that are not visible at first, but in fact, there are aspects of marriage that are under civil law, some under God’s law alone, and some under natural law.
    Also, I think a better way to think about marriage is not so much as someone covering your back, but as standing face-to-face with your spouse.
    What is the essence of marriage in your opinion?
    Also, I’m not so sure you want to be quoting Sarah Orne Jewett on this topic.
    Sorry for being so slow to understand what you are getting at and how you are making your case.

  14. Larry Morse says:

    As to SOJ, I have to laugh. She was almost surely a lesbian, as I gather you are well aware of. But still, her aphorism is sound and correct, isn’t it? Should the government regulate this?
    We are speaking past each other, I suspect.
    Is marriage unnecessary in a good city? What city is this? The phrase is an oxymoron. The city is in fact where the stress is highest, the social conflict highest, the greed most pervasive, the pressure insupportable and ubiquitous. In a real city, marriage is most nearly essential, because no one else is likely to stand up for you: You’re stabbed and lie bleeding on the sidewalk while no one comes to help.
    There is NO community. You can call it standing side by side or covering one’s back. Both will do because both make marriage’s essential strength clear and mandatory.
    In a real community, these dangers are minimized and “classical” marriage less vital, that is, a ceremony in which vows are exchanged and a permanent bond established, celebrated by ritual, and protected by the community. Mind you,I favor traditional marriage even under these circumstances, because the ritual and ceremony is a joy which a pair will treasure in their memories and which will help fend off adultery later on.
    Are marriages good for the state? Indeed they are. but the state can have no permission in regulating them one way or another.
    The First Amend. forbids it and rightly so. And eros? This is not love; only our careless way of speaking terms it so. Should the state regulate sex-in-marriage or should it regulate sex for profit? Clearly the latter only, because it is a business and has nothing to do with love. The marriage vows are sacred, sex and all, and the state may NOT mess with this. Pauls admonition that it is better to marry than to burn with lust is the declaration of man who has no idea of what he is talking about. Heck, he FAVORED celibacy.
    What aspects of marriage are under civil law? None, any longer, for these civil matter are now quite satisfactorily under the jurisdiction of civil partnerships.
    The heart only goes where it is sent, and many of us remember that first love in a chamber of our hearts which neither time nor marital circumstance can alter. Remember Joyce and The Dead. There is a sacred place for love, for which marriage is irrelevant.
    What is the essence of marriage? Marriage is a bond wherein yin and yang are a unity. It is sacred in the highest sense of the word; it is practical in the commonest sense of the word; it is the best possible parent, and it offers us all the only real protection we have in a narcissitic culture that wants to make us robots. ahub, what alone will defeat the Brave new World coming at us like a freight train? If a man and a woman can love AND marry, the triple AAA’s can never control us and make us into their pawns. If the state can regulate this, then the cause is lost and the Bokanovsky (sp?) process rules us all.
    A good discussion ahub, worth the time and trouble. My regards.

  15. Larry Morse says:

    That was her name. Kitty Genovese. Remember. Where was her husband? Larry

  16. Larry Morse says:

    That was her name. Kitty Genovese. Remember. Where was her husband? Larry

  17. ahub says:


    Indeed, this discussion is helpful.
    First, I must say that the aphorism of Sarah Orne Jewett is not very good: “The heart cannot be called; it only goes where it is sent.” There is much wrong with this aphorism; for one, the heart is often called or “drawn” to another. Also, it is not good for the heart (or the will) to regulate a person’s actions, for it can be drawn to many immoral ends. It is because many people do commit immoral acts that the government punishes people so as to regulate their hearts/wills. In the case of love, an adult can have an unnatural attraction to children. Now, the state doesn’t regulate the adult’s thinking, but definitely regulates his actions through threat of potential punishment, etc. Note that this is not simply the regulation of sex-for-profit, but the regulation of a natural evil that harms the cohesion and unity of the state.
    You are right in saying that there is no good city, unqualifiedly. You are also right in stating that there are many great evils that happen in the city. However, though the city has a great potential for evil, so it has a great potential for (a limited) good. So when I say “the good city” I really mean the best city that man can build under God’s kingdom (that is, I am not speaking of Babel). And though you list all these evils of the city, these evils do not occur all the time or to everybody. In most cases, the city does a good job of providing jobs, leisure time, watches so that others do not steal from us, makes sure that most evil is punished, etc. The Apostle Paul even speaks fairly well about the state in Romans 16 when he mentions that the state punishes those who do evil. Of course, the state can do much evil, as I concede (simply read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago or something of that flavour), but surely much good happens in the city because of the city. And so I think your view of the city is unnecessarily negative.
    I also think that you have to high an appraisal of married couples. Of course, marriage itself is a good given to humans by God, but that doesn’t mean that every marriage reaches the full potential of goodness (the same could be said of the city). In fact, many marriages can be terrible and we could probably list many of the evils that you spoke of the city when we talk of some people’s marriages.
    In fact, it is partially because of the evils of marriage that the state must regulate marriage: divorce “needs to be managed so that civil society can proceed in a methodical fashion and governments will not be stuck with the messy business of raising abandoned babies or supporting bankrupted ex-spouses” (Elizabeth Gilbert, in Committed). Now, I do not agree with Gilbert on key issues of her understanding of marriage or the state’s role in marriage, but I agree with what I quoted above. The state must also have its fingers in marriage for more positive issues, such as rewarding married couples for having children who will help the state to continue another generation. The state also doesn’t want just anybody making a decision for someone about to die, so the state says that a person’s spouse can often make such a decision. All kinds of other situation must be considered. For instance: should the state allow for homosexuals to get married to each other, or for polygamy to be accepted? Does the state have no right to regulate these either? And if the state cannot regulate marriage, then how can they regulate any of our other actions that spring from our hearts/wills, such as rape, incest, driving faster than the speed limit, etc.?
    As far as impinging on freedom of religion, there are many governments without this amendment. However, even in the case of the USA, you are simply assuming that marriage is religious without making your case. For myself, I have hopefully made it clear that marriage is not simply religious, but also partly civil (I believe that the above proves this to be true). In fact, people are not free in an unqualified sense in regard to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, for I cannot sacrifice people as a part of my religion or publish absolutely anything in my newspaper without getting punished by the government.
    According to many intelligent people (St. Augustine, St. Thomas, C.S. Lewis, and many others), eros is a form of love, that is, a form of desire. There are also other terms of love such as philos (as in philosophy or “the love of wisdom”). Christian marriage is sacred, and the state will never be able to touch a Christian marriage (for it is under God, not under the state), but in as much as a Christian marriage is civil, the state has a hand in the marriage. That is, they can allow certain marriages, and disallow others, and regulate them in other ways. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” is what Jesus says, and this applies to marriage as it does to money. Caesar must regulate the civil side of marriage (i.e. what will keep the state functioning well) and God knows and regulates the holy aspects of marriage (i.e. spiritual union, etc.). I agree that the government should not regulate our thoughts and our feelings, but they must regulate many of our actions that have obvious consequences for the state.
    What do you mean by “there is a sacred place for love, for which marriage is irrelevant.” ? In fact, I must ask you what you mean by “love” … for maybe we are speaking past each other on this as well.
    In describing what you think is the essence of marriage you speak very vaguely. I agree with you that it is the union of two different people. I also agree that it is a holy union when it comes to Christians getting married. I also agree that marriage protects us from many evils. However, marriage does not protect us from every evil and often marriages have their own evils. For instance, the Apostle Paul is correct in saying that marriages often are the cause of us taking our attention off of the Lord. Also, it seems good to state here that it is surprising to see that you strongly disagree with the Apostle Paul on this issue. I as well favour celibacy, yet I am not fit for it. Christian celibacy is a higher good than Christian marriage…but perhaps I am imprudently opening another can of worms.
    Yes, I know of the Kitty Genovese happening.
    Do you advocate that Christians get married, yet not under the government? That is, they get married in the eyes of God, yet not in the eyes of the state law?

    Here is you position as far as I understand it: You think that Christian marriages are not properly under civil law, despite the fact that Christian marriages have so many consequences for the state and that Christians want to have the best possible state to live in. You also think that marriage is the highest of human goods. You think that love is an enduring emotional attachment. You think that the state (every state throughout time) is very evil. You think that the state should only regulate business, and none of our personal actions. That is your position as best as I can understand it. Let me know if I am correct.
    Grace and Peace,