Latin America”s first gay marriage law takes effect; couple apply



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SHOTLIST
1. Exterior of civil registry office
2. First gay couple to register for a wedding licence sitting with civil servant to present documents
3. Man signing document, tilt down of couple putting thumbprints on license application, tilt up
4. Civil servant telling couple their marriage date is fixed for March 14th 2010
5. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Hugo Alejandro Vera, part of first gay couple to apply for marriage licence in Mexico City:
“Excited…it”s a way to show that diversity in this country is being taken account of. It”s a watershed decision, including in our own lives as well.”
6. Lesbian couple walking into registry to apply for marriage licence
7. Pan of registry room with various couples applying for licences surrounded by media
8. Lesbian couple sorting through documents needed for licence
9. Cutaway of birth certificate of one of the couples
10. Various of women applying for marriage licence
11. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Daniel Ramos, 20-year-old medical student applying for marriage licence with his partner of 3 years:
“Considering that Mexico is one of the most Catholic countries and very radical in that sense, it”s a huge step. In fact, it”s not just a step for gays, it”s also an advancement for heterosexuals, just like with any other fight. The fight of women to end repression also helped even to free men. The fight of blacks freed even white people. It”s the same here – homosexuals fight and even heterosexuals are freed.”
12. Tilt down of gay activist Patricia Jimenez waving rainbow-coloured flag outside civil registry office
13. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Armando Martinez, lawyer with the Catholic Lawyers” Association:
“The legal process will take time. We”re also going to be seeking a constitutional reform. Article 122 establishes that a person”s civil status must be recognised everywhere, which is to say that a wedding that happens in Mexico City has to be recognised in Chihuahua. But in not having the same definition of marriage as Mexico City in the rest of the 31 states, we”re asking to create a constitutional reform that establishes that recognition of civil status only takes place when a state”s definition of marriage is the same (as that of the state where the marriage took place) to try to avoid having to recognise these marriages between people of the same sex. If we don”t, we will have a federal domino effect.”
14. Martinez leaving
STORYLINE
Throngs of Mexico City gay and lesbian couples registered for marriage licences Thursday, the day Latin America”s first gay-marriage law took effect.
The first gay weddings will take place within a week to 10 days, after the paperwork is processed.
Gay couples entered the sprawling city government building and submitted their documents to the clerks amid hundreds of heterosexual couples doing the same thing.
Patria Jimenez, 54, waved a gay pride flag outside the building, shouting: “Freedom! At last, we have freedom!”
Mexico City”s legislature approved the first law explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones in December.
The change will allow same-sex couples to adopt children, apply for bank loans together, inherit wealth and be included in the insurance policies of their spouse, rights they were denied under civil unions allowed in the city.
“It”s a watershed decision, including in our own lives as well, ” said Hugo Alejandro Vera, one half of the first gay couple to apply for marriage licence.
“Considering that Mexico is one of the most Catholic countries and very radical in that sense, it”s a huge step,” said Daniel Ramos, a 20-year-old medical student applying for marriage licence with his partner of three years.

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