Uruguay became the second predominantly Roman Catholic country to legalize gay marriage on Wednesday night, sending cheers through the streets of Monte Video. Stateside, the mood remains sober.
It wasn't much of a question whether Uruguay would follow Argentina's lead and become the second Latin American country to pass such a law. The vote wasn't even close with 71 out of the 92 members of the Uruguayan Congress voting in favor of the bill. Uruguay with its liberal abortion laws and open-minded approach to marijuana is often considered one of the most progressive countries in Latin America. This is the same country that has a president who drives a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, never wears a tie and refuses to live in the opulent presidential palace. Not that any of that has anything to do with gay marriage. Uruguay's just laid back is all we're trying to say.
The United States is not — at least not about this issue. As same-sex Uruguayans head to the chapel, the vast majority of gay couples in America are left waiting in the dark and, let's face it, the rain. Despite the flurry of activity around oral arguments for two gay marriage-related cases in the Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago, it will be two more months before the justice's offer their decision. Only then will Americans get a clear answer back from the courts about the constitutionality of the laws preventing widespread passage of a law similar to the one that Uruguay just approved. And even then, it will be months if not years before anybody rallies enough support to push a bill lifting the national ban through Congress.
Some people disagree with this read of the situation. Others probably find it absurd that you can get gay-married in Buenos Aires and Mexico City but not Los Angeles or San Francisco or about a hundred dozen other American cities. Either way, felicidades to the newly weds in Uruguay tonight. And to the tourists: Go to Punte del Este this weekend. The parties are going to be AWESOME.