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Peruvian congressman proposes legalized civil unions for gay couples

By Rachel Chase

Proposal’s backers want to protect gay Peruvians from discrimination.

Peruvian congressman proposes legalized civil unions for gay couples

(Photo: El Comercio)

Carlos Bruce, a congressman from Lima, announced today that he is pursuing the approval of a bill that would grant homosexual couples the right to legalize their relationships in a “civil union.”

Bruce gave an interview to Canal N in which he explained the aims behind the proposal. According to Bruce, the proposal is meant to alleviate the situation of discrimination faced by gay Peruvians. He pointed out that, while heterosexual couples have the option to formalize their relationships and receive legal rights and protections, gay couples have no way to make their relationships official. Bruce explained that gay Peruvians were victims of state-sponsored discrimination because their relationships could not be protected by law, and therefore vulnerable.

Peru21 quotes Bruce as saying “This will strengthen families, because it’ll add a new kind of family that is going to join their assets, they’re going to have more disposable income, and they’re going to pay more taxes. And lastly, something else, the most important: they’re going to be happier, which they have every right to be,” Bruce also told Canal N that the proposal is in line with the principles of the Peruvian constitution, which holds that every citizen is equal before the law.

However, Bruce was also quick to point out that this is not a proposal to legalize gay marriage in Peru; rather, its backers look to create a new institution (civil unions) for gay couples. Gay couples will also not be granted rights to adoption through this proposal.

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