posted on August 31, 2010 04:47
Savvy Navigator is very, very proud that one of our favorite destinations for our gay tours, Argentina, recently passed legislation legalizing marriage equality. Our “man on the ground” in Buenos Aires, Olivier Dufeu (who helps us organize our Argentina trips) has given us this account of what it was like to be personally involved in this landmark event:
Nobody who was in front of the Argentine congress on the night July 14th, 2010, will forget it. A couple of months ago when the gay marriage law project started to be discussed, nobody would have even dreamed that it would arrive to the Senate for a final vote. Weeks before the voting, the debate was very strong, with many demonstrations against the project, mostly from the churches, whereas most of the straight people I know just didn’t mind. On the final day, the debate started early in the afternoon, everybody was texting friends to ask if they had any news and how it was going. After work many of us went to the Congress square. Hundreds of people had gathered, following the debate from a big screen, listening the arguments of the senators. It was painful to hear the cons but so empowering to hear the pros. I texted my journalist friend again, and nobody knew exactly what the final result would be. We were all doing the math, after each senator spoke, trying guess at the final result, the numbers were so tight.
The night arrived and it started to get very cold, but nobody left. We bought food and drink and waited. We forgot it is 0°C. Around 4 am, the big moment arrived: the final vote. Total silence of the hundreds of people. Countdown. At my side there was a couple of lesbians, they were almost praying “I want to marry her, I want to marry her…” And when the YES finally arrived, we all forgot the freezing weather and the word “igualdad” (equality) was the first scream of happiness from everybody.
The atmosphere was so unique. Younger, older, drag queens, bears, lesbians, etc. everybody hugged each other. When the Argentine national anthem started, I could not hold my tears. Hundreds of citizens just happy to finally have a law that recognized their love. All my friends were looking at each other and saying “no lo puedo creer” (I can’t believe it). Big hugs, texting, more tears and more songs. It was already 5:00 am but there was no way people would go home (even though everybody was working on next day!) and the crowd started naturally to walk in direction of the Obelisco, this strong symbol of Argentine freedom. We had a hot chocolate to celebrate it and forgot the cold! I went back home at 6.00 am and I think I only realized what had happened.
The next day, when I woke up, the first thing I thought was “Today I am no longer a 2nd class citizen, I have the same rights as everybody else.”
Thank you Olivier! We couldn’t agree more!