Monday announced its first nationwide gay rights measure:
granting same-sex couples the right to claim their deceased
prove they have been living together for at least five years
to receive the benefit, Amado Boudo, executive director of
the national social security administration, told
local television reporters.
The decree will
"put the rights of all cohabitants on a level playing
field," Boudo said.
welcomed Monday's announcement as the fruition of years of
campaigning the government to grant them the same rights as
heterosexual married couples.
Gay civil unions
already are legal in five cities, including Buenos
The measure is
"historic" and marks a "step forward" for human rights
because it is the first nationwide gay rights measure
approved by the government, gay activist Pedro Paradiso
Sottile told the Associated Press.
is moving past words to action," said Sottile, an
activist with the 24-year-old Argentine Homosexual Community
organization in Buenos Aires.
Prior to the new
decree, the deceased partners' pensions went directly to
"The state was
stealing our money," said Alejandra Portatadino, also
a member of the Argentine Homosexual Community, calling the
previous law "discriminatory" and
will now focus its efforts on nationalizing civil
unions, which would confer additional rights to gay couples,
such as adoption and inheritance, Sottile said.
Buenos Aires was
the first Latin American capital city to legalize
same-sex civil unions in 2002. Since then, the Argentine
capital has become one of the hotspots on the
international gay-friendly tourist circuit, going
head-to-head with Rio de Janeiro.
country was host last year to the first international
gay world cup as well as the international gay tango