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Amid tears of joy, thousands of demonstrators celebrated outside the Argentinean Congress on Thursday late night, the passing of the same-sex marriage law.
The decision, which turns Argentina into the first country to pass such a law in the continent, had been strongly rejected by the most conservative sectors of the church, which had intensified their campaign against it.
The bill was passed with 33 to 27 votes, after 14 hours of discussion. There was an intense discussion between the Congressman from the ruling sector Front for Victory, Miguel Angel Pichetto, and senator of the Federal Peronismo, Liliana Negre de Alonso. Pichetto described certain positions of the senator as close to “nazi”. She has been linked with the ultra conservative catholic group Opus Dei.
Negre de Alonso promoted a civil union bill, as an alternative conciliating both positions. But this bill had been rejected by the activists in favor of marriage, because it prevented the gay couples from adopting children.
Pichetto criticized the position adopted by the Catholic church on this issue.
He accused the church of polarizing the debate.
The positions of the Catholic Church and Senator Negre de Alonso were also criticized by the gay community, while they celebrated the decision adopted by the Congress members.
“This is a victory for non discrimination, equality and democracy. It is legitimte that there is a sector of society that disagrees. What is not ok is that they are trying to impose their position to the rest of the society”, said Maria Rachid, member of the Argentinean Federation of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexuals and Transgender Rights, reported Argentinean newspaper La Nacion.
Rachid said the law would give more liberty to the families of same-sex couples, and said there is still a long way to go to reach social equality.