Originally published on Advocate.com April 07 2012 9:11 AM ET
Nearly two years after Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize marriage equality, Buenos Aires, the nation’s capital, may extend the right to visiting couples from abroad.
As San Diego Gay & Lesbian News’ South American correspondent reported Friday, a city lawmaker recently introduced legislation to allow couples to marry in Buenos Aires without proof of residency.
The legislation, which if passed would likely be a boon for the city’s LGBT tourism industry, comes soon after the first foreign gay couple married in the city of Rosario, which is located about 200 miles northwest of Buenos Aires and has no residency requirement for marriage.
In the summer of 2010, Argentinian lawmakers approved a same-sex marriage measure, one that was politically popular in the nation and vigorously supported by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who called the Roman Catholic Church’s oppositional rhetoric akin to something from “the times of the Crusades.”
A few years prior, in a 2008 meeting with Argentina's ambassador to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI had urged the country to uphold "the defense of the family based on marriage between a man and a woman" and said that the definition of marriage should not be "at the mercy of political agreements."
But Kirchner fired back, saying of the church in 2010, “It would be a terrible distortion of democracy if they denied minorities their rights."
In Buenos Aires, city lawmaker María Rachid’s bill proposes that a non-resident couple seeking to be married would need only present a photocopied passport with entry stamp, among other minimal requirements. (Read the report here.)