Bolivian department considers marriage equality

Marco Carrillo

While several countries in South America have already embraced marriage equality, Bolivia may be following the U.S. piecemeal model. Legislation has been proposed in one departmental (state) legislature to legalize same-sex marriage.

According to the Bolivian newspaper Los Tiempos, a group of LGBT nonprofit groups presented a proposal to the Cochabamba Departmental Assembly to include same-sex marriage in the state’s Autonomy Statute.

Marco Carrillo, the chairman of the committee that drafts such legislation, is analyzing whether this issue can be determined locally or must be done nationally.

“They are proposing the recognition of same-sex unions and out of that also arises the question of recognition of accumulation of future assets and social benefits,” Carrillo said.

Bolivia is divided into nine departments. Cochabamba is centrally located in the country. Its capital, also called Cochabamba, is the fourth-largest city in Bolivia with a metropolitan population of more than 1 million.

Among other South American countries, Argentina has marriage equality, while Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay recognize civil unions.

—  David Taffet

Ecuador is latest South American country to consider marriage equality; Bolivia may follow

A bill to allow civil marriage will be introduced in Ecuador’s National Assembly on Thursday, according to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

In 2008, Ecuador adopted a new constitution that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Bolivia has a similar provision in its new constitution called “The Law Against Racism and All Types of Discrimination.” The LGBT rights group Equidad participated in a presentation and analysis of the Bolivian provision chaired by a member of the National Assembly. Recommendations will be made this week, and they’ll presumably include a marriage equality law.

This summer, South America has been a hotbed of equality legislation. Marriage equality passed in Argentina. An upgrade from civil unions in Uruguay, which have been legal for several years, is being debated. Civil union bills also have been introduced in Chile and Peru.

Chilean Senator Fulvio Rossi, who introduced the bill there, doesn’t expect it to pass. El Mercurio doesn’t predict what the chances are for passage of the bill in Ecuador.

Translation assistance by Miguel Flores.

—  David Taffet

Bolivian president apologizes for saying homosexuality caused by chicken hormones

Bolivian President Evo Morales
Bolivian President Evo Morales

Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, recently got himself into trouble by saying that the reason there are so many gay and lesbian people in developed countries is because of hormones given to chickens.

They always say that it’s harder to discriminate against gays and lesbians when you know some. That’s certainly true in Morales’ case.

Morales apologized for his statement this week after he found out that not only are there LGBT people in Bolivia, according to Los Tiempos, but some of them work in his own official residence and office, El Palacio.

The article from the Cochabamba, Bolivia newspaper is entitled “Evo pide perdón a los gays y dice que los homosexuales también trabajan en Palacio,” which means, “Evo asks pardon from the gays and says that homosexuals also work in the Palace.”

—  David Taffet