Feminism Around the World: Peru Takes Tiniest Step Possible Toward Marriage Equality, So Yay?
Welcome to Feminism Around the World, a weekly feature here at TMS where we focus on women’s lives and feminist concerns around the world by applauding successes, reporting injustices, and amplifying the conversation around solutions to gender-based inequality. Because “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” – Teresa
PERU: Government Takes Tiniest Step Possible Toward Marriage Equality, So Yay?
In 2010, Peruvian gay rights activist Óscar Ugarteche was finally able to marry his partner of 17 years, Fidel Aroche, in Mexico City after Mexico legalized same-sex marriage. However, when he tried to register his marriage in his native country the following year through the Peruvian consulate so that he could change his marital status on his passport, his petition was denied. So, he filed a lawsuit against the Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (RENIEC), the national registry agency in Lima.
After the civil court in Lima rejected the case in 2012 and Ugarteche took his case to a higher court in 2013, there’s finally been some justice done. Judge Malbina Saldaña ruled in favor of the couple, ordering RENIEC to recognize the marriage so that Ugarteche can update his paperwork. This is a great first, precedent-setting step for the LGBTQIA community in Peru.
However, RENIEC has vowed to appeal the ruling, and same-sex marriage remains illegal in Peru. This ruling would only apply to recognizing same-sex marriages that happen outside the country. I imagine that LGBTQIA couples will suddenly start making travel plans en masse and, for now, if they happen to get married in another country where same-sex marriage is legal, their home country will have to recognize it…but who knows how long this will last? Meanwhile, Ugarteche and Aroche continue to live in Mexico.
Here’s hoping that LGBTQIA activists in Peru are able to use this historic ruling to make same-sex marriage (along with full equality) a reality, finally catching up to much of Latin America.
NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE
SWIZERLAND: “Swiss Muslim girls must learn to swim with boys, court rules” (CNN, 1/11/17)
INDIA: “Another YouTube ‘prankster’ is under fire for treating sexual harassment as a joke” (The Daily Dot, 1/9/17)
UNITED KINGDOM: “Jill Saward, campaigner against sexual violence, dies aged 51” (The Guardian, 1/5/17)
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