Men dressed in drag display their wedding dresses during a same-sex-wedding fashion show in Buenos Aires—in 2011. (Photo: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters)
Overshadowed by U.S. President Barack Obama’s affirmation last week that “same sex couples should be able to get married,” Argentina’s senate voted 55 to O in favor of granting individuals the liberty of choosing their own gender.
In the United States, candidates for gender realignment are required to endure a battery of psychological and physical examinations before embarking upon their transformations. The Argentine law would free its people to switch their gender identification prior to, or without any, surgical or chemical alterations to their bodies.
“The fact that there are no medical requirements at all—no surgery, no hormone treatment and no diagnosis—is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries, including the U.S., and significantly ahead of even the most advanced countries,” said Justus Eisfeld, co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality in New York.
Argentina is also at least one step ahead of President Obama in its attitude toward same-sex marriage. Like Obama, the country’s laws reflect an attitude that “same sex couples should be able to get married.” Unlike Obama, Argentina’s legal code does not reserve the right of individual states or provinces within the country to decide whether or not to recognize same-sex weddings.
Gay marriage has been legal in Argentina, a predominantly Catholic country, for two years.
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