Uruguay's congress is considering legalizing marriage equality, reports The Associated Press.
The country embraced civil unions legislation in 2007, but is now considering full marriage equality for its gay and lesbian citizens. The new law would give married gay and lesbian couples all the same rights as heterosexual couples, including adoption privileges.
The legislation was drafted by LGBT activists in the Ovejas Negras ("Black Sheep") Collective, and has now garnered the approval of the ruling Broad Front Coalition. On Wednesday, Broad Front agreed to debate the measure next week in the House of Deputies' constitutional commission, according to the AP.
"Today's society is much broader than the heterosexual, and the civil code should reflect this: a marriage institution that applies equally to all," Black Sheep member Federico Grana told the AP. "This goes well beyond homosexuality — it's a law that gives all the same rights and responsibilities."
The Roman Catholic Church in Uruguay has registered strong opposition to the proposed law. Bishop Jamie Fuentes told the AP that civil unions for gay couples are acceptable in the church's doctrine, but marriage equality would "represent serious discrimination against a married man and woman," adding that "children have a right to be raised by a mother and father, by birth or adoption."