Context of Issue: On July 15, 2010, Argentina’s Senate passed a law allowing same-sex marriage. Argentina is the first country in South America to recognize same-sex marriage and it is the tenth country worldwide to allow same-sex marriage. Argentina is one of the leading countries in the Americas as far as the progression towards acceptance of the LGBT community. Compared to the United States, which has reportedly fallen behind in these LGBT rights debates, Argentina seems to have taken the lead in this sense. Argentina maintains an atmosphere of openness to the rights of the LGBT community, even despite the strong presence of religion in their culture. Whereas in countries like Mexico and Honduras, who also possess a strong religious presence, pro-LGBT communities have approached the government with hopes of allowing same-sex marriage and rights, and were consequently met with intolerance and an “anti-gay atmosphere”. In the United States, the government is supposed to be separate from religion with the “separation of church and state”; however, the churches’ opposition to same-sex marriage has been voiced publicly and consequently discussed in the debate against the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. The United States has been unable to legalize same-sex marriage and many believe that the churches’ blatant opposition and public position play an important role in this result. In this essay, I will focus on the comparison of Argentina and the United States in their progress of the same-sex marriage debate. I will also try to focus on the church’s prominence as a major opposition to the same-sex marriage proposal and how Argentina has managed to overcome this issue, despite the prominence of religion in their culture.
Questions: What are some differences in how Argentina and the United States have approached the LGBT issues, including same-sex marriage? How are some religious groups responding to the same-sex marriage debate and what is the impact of their voiced opinions?
How has the position of the church affected the same-sex marriage debates in the United States? And how has Argentina overcome the church’s role in the passage of their same-sex marriage proposal? More importantly, how can the United States utilize Argentina’s success and overcome the church’s prominent role in the marriage debate?
Secondary Source: http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/umialr65&div=38&g_sent=1&collection=journals “Sexual Rights and Religion: Same-Sex Marriage and Lawmakers’ Catholic Identity in Argentina Special Topic: Gender Justice and Human Rights in the Americas: Essay; Vaggione, Juan Marco”