Uruguayan senators voted overwhelmingly in favor of a same-sex marriage measure Tuesday — a key step that puts the South American nation on the path to becoming the 12th country to approve such a law.
Senators approved the marriage equality bill 23-8. Next week, lawmakers in the lower house, which approved a different version of the legislation late last year, are expected to vote on the senate's version.
If approved and signed by President Jose Mujica, who has indicated he supports the measure, the proposal would make Uruguay the second country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. Neighboring Argentina legalized such marriages in 2010.
In a deliberate statement to this cattle-exporting nation of 3.3 million people, Mr. Mujica, 77, shunned the opulent Suárez y Reyes presidential mansion, with its staff of 42, remaining instead in the home where he and his wife have lived for years, on a plot of land where they grow chrysanthemums for sale in local markets.
Visitors reach Mr. Mujica’s austere dwelling after driving down O’Higgins Road, past groves of lemon trees. His net worth upon taking office in 2010 amounted to about $1,800 — the value of the 1987 Volkswagen Beetle parked in his garage. He never wears a tie and donates about 90 percent of his salary, largely to a program for expanding housing for the poor.
Urugauy also has a special safeguard mechanism (SSM), an important economic tool for developing countries—it let's them "raise tariffs temporarily to deal with import surges or price falls." Pot is legal in Uruguay. I also hear they have great steaks.