Published on July 22nd, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut

President Kirchner’s Marriage Bill is Timed Perfectly for Tourism Confab

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner signed same-sex marriage into law on July 21.

Last night, hundreds of people gathered at the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires for a historic event: Argentina’s president, Cristina Kirchner, signed into law a same-sex marriage bill. It is the first such nationwide legislation in Latin America, and only the second in the entire western hemisphere.
The timing couldn’t have been better for the organizers of GNetwork360, the annual LGBT tourism conference in Buenos Aires, which officially kicked off the same day with a speech by Argentina’s newly appointed tourism minister, Enrique Meyer.
Conference organizers Pablo De Luca and Gustavo Noguera arranged for several conference delegates (including this reporter) to attend President Kirchner’s historic signing, during which crowds cheered and chanted “Cristina! Cristina! Cristina!” Attendees at the signing ceremony, which took place in the Gallery of Latin American Patriots inside the Casa Rosada, included politicians, gay rights activists, and a row of members from Madres de Plaza de Mayo, which formed years ago in memory of people who disappeared during Argentina’s military regime in the 1970s. These women nodded their heads silently as President Kirchner ticked off the reasons why the time is right for same-sex marriage rights in this South American nation.
“I feel like I’m living a historic moment,” President Kirchner said during a private meeting that De Luca and Noguera had arranged for my group of conference delegates.
When I asked her what affect the legislation might have on other parts of Latin America, Kirchner said that she hadn’t heard reactions from government leaders in other countries yet, but expects to during an upcoming regional summit. “I think it will have a great effect,” she predicted, explaining that Argentina has a tradition of activism and progressiveness. “We’re providing a lighthouse,” she said, which others can look to. 
As for the effect on LGBT tourism, Kirchner predicted a positive effect, although, she added, “Argentina and Buenos Aires have always been a [gay-] friendly destination.”


Argentina’s tourism minister, Enrique Meyer (left) spoke at the opening of GNetwork360, accompanied by
Pablo De Luca and Gustavo Noguera.

President Cristina Kirchner spoke after signing the bill at the Casa Rosada.

A portrait of Evita Perón looked on during President Kirchner’s signing in the Gallery of Latin American Patriots, at the Casa Rosada.

Members of the group Madres de Plaza de Mayo were also present at the signing.

President Kirchner spoke with delegates from GNetwork360 in her office after the signing.

Delegates from the GNetwork360 conference pose with President Kirchner and tourism minister Enrique Meyer (oh yeah, that’s me on the left!)



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About the Author

The founder and editor of LatinFlyer.com, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.


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