April 4, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Paraguayan judge refuses to register gay couple’s marriage

SOMOSGAY, Paraguay, gay news, Washington Blade

Simón Cazal and Sergio López are members of the Paraguayan LGBT advocacy group Somosgay (Photo courtesy of Simón Cazal/Somosgay)

A Paraguayan judge on Thursday refused to register the marriage of a gay couple who legally tied the knot in neighboring Argentina.

“The national constitution in Articles 49, 50, 51 and 52 establishes that a marriage for the formation of a family can only be formed by a man and a woman,” Judge Nery Kunzle wrote in the decision, according to the Associated Press.

Simón Cazal, the chief executive officer of the LGBT advocacy group Somosgay who married Sergio López in Rosario, Argentina, in March 2012, told the Washington Blade from New York City the ruling does not come as a surprise.

“It is a decision that we were expecting, based on the judge’s previous history,” Cazal said, noting he hopes to eventually bring the case before the country’s Supreme Court.

Cazal added he and López will petition the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hear it if necessary.

“We are sure that in some sense we will get a positive ruling,” Cazal said.

Argentina is among the countries in which same-sex couples can legally marry. Mexico City and a handful of Brazilian states including Saõ Paulo also allow gays and lesbians to tie the knot.

The Uruguay Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry — President José Mujica has said he will sign it into law once the country’s House of Deputies gives it final approval.

The Colombian Senate on April 10 is also expected to debate the issue.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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