Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gay Rights Progress in South America

ahead of the United States on gay rights.

So who beats us on the gay rights front?

Gays can now marry their loved ones in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.

Gay couples will have their relationships recognized as civil unions or registered partners (marriage "equivalents" without the name) in Andorra, Austria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Slovenia, Switzerland, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The cultural climate isn't that great in Colombia, Ecuador and South Africa (and granted, probably lacking when compared to the cultural climate in this country) but that only makes the failure to advance in this country even more baffling. In Argentina and Brazil, the cultural climate varies, just as it does here in the United States but there has been more political progress abroad there then here.

The United States as a whole does not recognize gay relationships as familial units though several states do.

Moreover, every nation that joined the European Union had to enact laws protecting gays from job discrimination, as do Canada, Israel, Taiwan and several countries in Latin America.

We really are behind the eight ball. While our democratic allies debate gay marriage and civil union laws, this country's administration is dragging its feet on things like the right to what was that, fight and die on the battlefield?

The Democrats have no excuse for this delay. They have both houses in Congress as well as the White House. If they cannot pass a lift on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, gays will have to wonder if they should campaign, or donate any of their time to their re-election campaigns.

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