Rick Vanderslice makes radio show international

By the time you read this, Rick Vanderslice has already been out of the country for a day and is probably lounging on the beaches of South America. Vanderslice, the veteran broadcaster, who has hosted a very gay, liberal-leaning talk show at Rational Radio for a few years, has decided to take a escape the revenuers and head south (well, that’s my take on it). But that doesn’t mean the show it going anywhere.

Rick called me last week to say he was taking about six months to head for Argentina — only his third sabbatical in a long career. He’s not sure how long he’ll be there, he said (probably six months or so) but until he’s back on Texas soil, he will do the radio show via Skype, every weekday afternoon. (It may be a week or so before they work the kinks out, he said, so be patient for its return.)

He plans to have a few more international guests as well, including a semi-regular contributor who will also Skype from Moscow. But he’ll still deal with some local issues, so expect Dallas folks to keep appearing on the show. (I’ll still be contributing on occasion, when they ask me.)

Rick is also gonna be sending the Voice updates from Argentina, little postcards about gay life in South America.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Peru jumps on South American equality bandwagon with proposed civil union law

Jose Vargas

A congressman from the ruling party in Peru will introduce a civil union bill in the legislature, according to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

The bill would give same-sex couples the same economic rights as married opposite-sex couples but would not allow them to adopt.

The bill will be introduced by José Vargas of the APRA ruling party, but he will do so as an individual, not on behalf of his party in, to avoid jeopardizing the current government. He urged support from all political sides.

According to the website Living In Peru, the gay movement in Lima was surprised about the legislation and said Vargas acted on his own without consulting them. The community fears a civil union law could prevent marriage equality in the future.

Last week Argentina legalized same-sex marriage. Uruguay began debating upgrading its civil union law to marriage. A marriage law was introduced in the legislature in Paraguay, and Chile began debating civil unions.

Translation assistance by Miguel Flores.

—  David Taffet

Goal!!!!! Argentina legalizes same-sex marriage

You can finally stay in a country in the New World, get married to your same-sex partner and not learn to ice skate. Yes, Mexico City approved it, but it’s not national law there, just like it’s not here; you had to go to Canada to stay in the West and be legally gay.

Of course, you have to go south of the border. Really far south, too.

Early this morning, the senate in Argentina voted to approved a gay marriage bill which had already passed the lower house. All that’s left is for the president to sign the bill, which seems certain.

Of course, there have been protests, mostly organized by the Catholic Church in Argentina. But see, there’s this thing, called separation of church and state. Maybe the Mormons in the U.S. need to read about it. After all, Argentina is a Catholic nation; so is Spain. And they have same-sex marriage despite protests. It’s called governing. It’s called fairness. It’s what the U.S. is supposed to be about.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry issued this statement:

“Today’s historic vote shows how far Catholic Argentina has come, from dictatorship to true democratic values, and how far the freedom to marry movement has come as twelve countries on four continents now embrace marriage equality. Argentina’s vote for the freedom to marry marks an important advance for fairness and family values as more couples around the world will now share in marriage, with families helped and no one hurt. Today’s vote adds momentum to the international movement to secure the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples. Key to Argentina’s human rights achievement was strong leadership from legislators and the president. It is time we see more of our own elected officials standing up for the Constitution and all families here in the United States. America should lead, not lag, when it comes to treating everyone equally under the law.”

It’s a little late to lead, guys. But if we must follow, let’s hope our politicians don’t follow too far behind.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Marriage equality makes progress in Latin America

Alex Freyre and Jose Maria di Bello
Alex Freyre and Jose Maria di Bello

The first same-sex marriage took place in Argentina this week.

Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage.

Ecuador, Brazil and Columbia are considering how to legalize same-sex relationships

Uruguay legalized same-sex adoptions.

In Argentina, where marriage equality is local-option, Buenos Aires legalized same-sex marriage. Alex Freyre and Jose Maria di Bello, a gay couple, applied for their marriage license. But before they could marry, a judge stepped in and stopped the marriage.

Argentina’s National Institute Against Xenophobia and Racism helped the couple and referred them to the gay-friendly governor of Argentina’s southernmost state, Tierra del Fuego. The governor issued Freyre and Maria di Bello a marriage license and this week they were married.

—  David Taffet