Mérida, 31st January 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s LGBT movement today gathered outside the National Assembly to hand over a legal proposal for debate that would legalise same sex civil marriage in the South American country.
Some 300 activists representing 47 social organisations met for the occasion, where they presented the proposal which has so far received over 21,000 signatures in support.
The movement aims to change article 44 of Venezuelan civil law, the only legal obstacle to same sex civil marriage, so that it describes marriage as “the union of two people without gender distinction”.
“Enough of patriarchy and them telling us what to do, equal marriage is what the Assembly has to do,” activists chanted.
Some activists were optimistic that same-sex marriage could soon be a reality in Venezuela, which would join Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and the Mexican Federal District in approving such a measure.
The movement, led by the Equal Venezuela Civil Association (ACVI), has so far received the support of at least four socialist party (PSUV) parliamentary deputies, as well as two PSUV state governors, several government ministers and the comptroller general. Some members and groups of the opposition are also in favour.
However the Venezuelan Catholic Church is opposed to the measure, and many evangelical churches are also considered to be against the proposal.
Other same sex marriage activists fear that patriarchal and traditional religious influences will make it difficult to win a vote in the 165-member National Assembly in the near future.
“There are political and evangelical-religious fundamentalist sectors in the National Assembly, a radiography would need to be done to know who would really support it. We at least hope that a serious debate is held,” activist Cesar Sequera told AFP.
Under Venezuela’s “People Legislator” law movements can introduce draft legislation to the National Assembly if they gain enough signatures, which must then be debated by assembly deputies.