El Salvador Bans Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Adoption Rights in Last Minute Constitutional Amendment

After weeks of public debate and protest, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly approved an amendment to the constitution to ban marriage between same-sex couples and same-sex couples’ ability to adopt a child.  This amendment was proposed in the final hours of the current Legislative Assembly session, which ends April 30th.

“Marriage is only for men and women, born that way.  It remains consecrated in our country that this is not possible for same-sex couples,” (El Diario de Hoy, 30 April 2009) announced Rodolfo Parker, the major proponent of the amendment.

In the period of time leading up to this ratification, the amendment lacked 4 votes to pass.  Those votes needed to come from deputies of the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).  On Monday, April 27, the party announced that it would not support the amendment because of concerns that it was discriminatory.   The wording of the amendment was negotiated to include the phrase,  “The State shall foment marriage, but the lack of it will not effect the enjoyment of the rights established by law,” after which it attained the number of votes needed to pass.

Politicians have experienced pressure from The Church to ratify the amendment.  Various Catholic and Evangelical leaders publicly targeted the FMLN for not supporting the amendment, particularly San Salvador’s Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas.  On April 20th Alas presented the Assembly with 300,000 signatures in support of the reform and has made various public statements urging the FMLN to cast the necessary votes for it to pass.

On Sunday, April 27th, Luigi Pezzuto, who is the Papal Nuncio, or permanent diplomatic representative of Pope Benedict XVI, officially backed Alas, emphasizing the importance of protecting the essence of marriage, and stating that the amendment was not discriminatory.

LGBT activists, who have focused their work on providing education, services, and human rights accompaniment to LGBT Salvadoran, immediately mobilized in response.   “Here the Church has taken a position that does not respect that El Salvador is a secular state.  It has wanted to dominate and get involved in situations that are not its duty.  We have maintained that if the reform passes, El Salvador loses…in terms that, first, we are a secular state, and second that the Catholic Church does not represent 100% of the citizens, in religion, nor in quantity,” said Wiliam Hernandez, Executive Director of the organization Associación Entre Amigos (Between Friends), in an April 28th press conference.

Hernandez and Entre Amigos are part of The Alliance for LGBT Diversity, a network of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals and organizations.   The Alliance has organized a variety of protests, press conferences, vigils, and written a counter amendment proposing the expansion of Article 3 of the nation’s constitution to include sexuality, gender identity, and disability in the non-discrimination clause.

“We are not asking for marriage, only equality” has been the resounding message the Alliance has put forth.  Though Parker’s amendment has put LGBT activists on the defensive, it has also brought many new people into the network and forced discussion of LGBT issues into the spotlight.  LGBT activists in El Salvador face regular death threats and harassment for their work.

Activist and law student Andrea Ayala explained her presence at one of the many demonstrations the Alliance held in front of the Legislative Assembly, “Personally I am not asking them for marriage, because, well, I think we are light years away from this…I simply ask that they do not obstruct our rights to equality.  Our right to equality is protected in the United Nations Human Rights Charter...For me, as a lesbian, it is humiliating that they are trying to continue obstruct the right that we have to freely exercise our sexuality.”

At this point in time, the Alliance is analyzing the situation before determining next steps.  Representatives have stated that if the amendment passed they would plan to take legal action for the violation of established rights that are guaranteed by the nation’s constitution and international law.

Comments

el salvador bans same-sex marriage

What to say? I wonder if all salvadoreans against same-sex marriage, have considered what family really means. After all 'protecting the family' is the argument the right wing always gives as excuse to oppress a minority.

Well, I'm sure they know Family comes from Latin familia (slave of the household) and famulus, which indicates how many slaves belong to that particular family.

The church can be happy now, children will be in the hands of heterosexuals that most likely belong to the MaraSalvatruchas, their heterosexuality will assure the  making of enough slaves to preserve the status quo.

Congratulations to El Salvador

gringos aren't too advanced either...

what amuses me is how americans are always 'oh, those barbarians that are invading our country' , when the values they espouse are the same identical ones espoused here by those in ruling circles...  i found an interesting article that delves into some of what you mentioned... i will quote an excerpt and then give the link so you can access the entirety of the material:

``And anyone is evil if they don't see "family values" when a man is head of the household and owns a little kingdom and his wife and kids are his property serve to keep the social status quo unequal, unjust, unfair and oppressive.Ancient Rome and Nazis also had this "nuclear family" model, The wife and kids were property of male head of household. This is the same crap the Christian Conservatives are spouting these days -- they want to go back to home feudalism. And if feudalism is a 'normal' lifestyle at home, then society will reflect it as "normal."In Rome, fathers could beat, rape, kill their uppity wives and disobedient kids because the "right" of the 'dick-head of the household' to dominate the weaker was couched as "divine order." It was master and slave, morality deified.There is nothing divine about "divine order." The class-ism, elitism, and social hierarchy that conservatives tout as the "special" "glue" or bedrock of 'civilization' means they rely on maintaining a master/slaves morality to keep their own power stable. Basically, conservatism echoes the divine right of kings, and insists that the proper place for the "lower classes" is a life of poverty, desperation, xenophobia, ignorance, religion, and being bound in servitude.''

link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x972374

 

homophobia

Dennis you are totally right, thanks for the link, too.

my name is dennes

with all due respect my name is spelled with an E.

What was the wording before

What was the wording before the change and how does it read now? I havent been able to find this. Sorry if I missed it.

 

Thanks for covering these developments.

 

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