John M. Becker

Uruguay President: Same-Sex Marriage Is Nothing New

Filed By John M. Becker | March 10, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: abortion, gay marriage, José Mujica, marijuana, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Uruguay

José-Mujica-uruguay.jpgIn an interview published yesterday with Brazil's O Globo newspaper, Uruguayan President José Mujica said that for him, decisions to legalize marriage equality, abortion, and marijuana all boil down to one thing: the facts.

"We apply a very simple principle: to recognize the facts. Abortion is as old as the world... Same-sex marriage, please, it's older than the world. We had Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, please. To say it is modern? Please. It's older than all of us. It is a matter of objective reality. For us, not to legalize it would torture some people unnecessarily." (via Google Translate)

Uruguay, a small South American country sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, legalized marriage equality last year. The law went into effect on August 5, 2013.

Mujica, a former guerilla warrior, has captured the world's attention with his austere, unassuming, humble way of life. Describing what they called his "low-key radicalism," the New York Times notes that the 77-year-old president -- who in addition to legalizing marriage equality, abortion, and marijuana, has sharply increased the use of renewable energy sources -- "lives in a run-down house on Montevideo [the capital]'s outskirts with no servants at all."

"His security detail: two plainclothes officers parked on a dirt road."

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