Saturday, 17 April 2010

Buenos Aires Gay Marriage: Judicial Ping Pong Continues

Argentina's First Gay Marriage Anulled by Judge.

After Alex Freyre and Jose Maria De Bello secured judicial permission for the first ever same sex marriage licence last year, it was quickly overruled by another local judge. Undettered, the couple went to the south of the country, and secured permission to marry from the government of Tierra del Fuego. The men finally married last December.

Now, a judge from Tierra del Fuego has ruled that the marriage was invalid, and has anulled it.  The couple and their lawyer are determined to continue the fight for clear legal recognition of their union, and will fight the case, if necessary, into international courts.  This will not end soon.  In the meantime, there are also moves afoot to secure equality by legislative means.    

UPDATE: Another judge has likewise anulled the country's first lesbian wedding, that of Norma Castillo and Ramona Arevalo, who have been a couple for three decades, but were married just last week - Argentina's third couple to do so. It is significant that the application for annulment was brought before the court by an explicitly Catholic attorney, just as Argentina's Catholic Church is vigorously opposing an equality bill that would grant marriage and adoption rights to same sex couples.
From AFP:

BUENOS AIRES — A judge in Argentina has annulled the first gay marriage in Latin America, state media said Thursday, but the two men in the groundbreaking union said they would appeal the decision.
Judge Marcos Mellien, in the southern city of Ushuaia where the wedding took place last December, ruled the marriage "non-existent," the Telam news agency said quoting a judicial source.
The judge cited an article in Argentina's civil code which forbids marriage between two people of the sa

me sex, according to the agency.
One of the spouses in the contested union, Alex Freyre, described the decision as "a failure of a judge who has no value, because we will appeal.
"We are married and are confident that the Supreme Court will prove us right," he told AFP.

-(Read the full report)

From Latin American Herald Tribune:

BUENOS AIRES – A judge on Friday voided the marriage last week of two women in this capital, the first union of its kind in Argentina, judicial officials said.
Argentine Norma Castillo and Uruguay’s Ramona Arevalo, who are both 67 and have been a couple for the past three decades, married on April 9 after getting the go-ahead from Judge Elena Liberatori.
But Judge Martha Gomez Alsina on Friday decided to annul the marriage, granting a petition by a Catholic attorney to declare the union “non-existent.”
The wedding of Castillo and Arevalo, which was the third same-sex marriage in Argentina and the first involving two women, came amid debate of a bill in the lower house that would allow gays to marry and adopt children.
The bill is staunchly opposed by the Catholic Church.

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