Equal rights for all: Coming soon to Venezuela?

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Let’s hope so! From YVKE Mundial, a hot story about a bill currently before the legislature:

The Organic Law for Gender Equity and Equality, which establishes legal cohabitation rights for same-sex couples, is about to go to a second reading in the National Assembly.

Deputy Romelia Matute presented the proposal and added that the project is in the process of consultations and that she has met at various times with members of the gay community who asked that an article be included which permits legal union of two persons of the same sex.

“We have decided to call it ‘cohabitation associations’,” explained the parliamentarian. “This will permit two persons of the same sex to unite legally and will have juridical and patrimonial effects, as in many countries such as Mexico and Spain, among others.”

Article 8 of the law before the National Assembly states: “Every person has the right to exercise their sexual identity of preference, in a free manner and without any discrimination. In consequence, the State shall recognize the associations of cohabitation between two persons of the same sex, by mutual agreement and free consent, with full juridical and patrimonial effect.”

In this way, a same-sex couple legally united can share their worldly goods, such as apartments, cars, and similar. In the event that one partner should die, the surviving partner retains the right to all shared possessions. Legal separations and the consequent division of goods would take place in a manner similar to that between a divorcing couple or a dissolving business partnership. A homosexual person may include their legal partner in medical insurance policies, among others.

Translation mine.

The deputy goes on to say that gay-rights activists are prepared to put up a fight if the measure doesn’t pass. The reason, she says, is that for centuries, gay Venezuelans have found themselves obliged to marry persons of the opposite sex, even if they didn’t love one another. A definite case of contra natura, one would think, although the church and state have long insisted that it’s being gay that’s unnatural, not marrying for convenience rather than love.

What’s nice about this organic law proposal is that it recognizes gays as being different by nature, and unable to change–and therefore, that it goes against their rights to force them to choose opposite-sex unions or remain forever alone. The church and a lot of other conservative traditionalists won’t like it, any more than they liked Galileo for saying “Eppur si muove”, but…the world is round, and it turns, and it orbits the Sun.

And in Venezuela, it has just done another significant turn.

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4 Responses to Equal rights for all: Coming soon to Venezuela?

  1. Utpal says:

    Did you look at the comments section in that link? They have some tough work ahead.

  2. Yeah, they sure do. But if what happened up here is any indication, the religious opposition won’t have a leg to stand on. There’s nothing in the text of that law to force churches to perform gay weddings. It’s a clear separation of church and state. The state will be the one to recognize gay domestic partnership arrangements.
    As for the religious argument, I have to say it comes largely from those who aren’t very literate about their own scriptures. The actual reason for the demolition of Sodom and Gomorrah was the fact that the locals were rude and uncharitable to strangers, not anything to do with Teh Buttsex.

  3. Utpal says:

    The one thing that is striking is that if you read the responses, the opposition is exclusively religious (and for that reason harder to battle, precisely because it is irrational). The nonreligious who are uncomfortable about homosexuality nevertheless see the argument about rights and hence are redeemable with the right facts. Most of the time, it is also because they don’t know anyone who is openly gay, and hence have no clue that gays can be as “normal” as anyone else.

  4. There’s the rub, eh? I got to supporting gay rights issues because I have so many gay friends. Which might never have happened if I hadn’t gone to university, either. I wasn’t brought up religious (my dad’s a lapsed Catholic, my mom used to be Lutheran, they were married in the United Church of Canada because the Catholic one wouldn’t do the job unless my mom converted, which she wouldn’t, and I was baptized United but otherwise nonpracticing.) By the time I was exposed to religion in grade school, I found myself thinking that I could make up better stories in my head than these Bible people! Apparently, I did better at logic and reasoning, too.

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