Doing Things the Latin Way?

Latin America is becoming a hotbed of progress for LGBT equality.

Mexico City is the latest, voting to allow same-gender unions and adoptions by same-gender couples. Argentina and Colombia have made recent moves towards liberalization–and Urguay already allows same-gender civil unions.

Yes, Uruguay.

Buenos Aires legalized same-sex civil unions in 2002 but conflicting judicial rulings have stymied them. Several other Argentine cities, as well as Mexican and Brazilian states, also permit same-sex unions. Colombia has granted social security rights to gay couples; Venezuela is considering same-sex civil unions.

Of course, discrimination continues in many places. Walter Orlando Trochez, 27, a prominent gay and anti-coup activist in Honduras, was shot dead last week.

But the trend is beginning to feel like a powerful wave, even as the inevitable push-back from conservative political groups and the Roman Catholic Church heats up.

The shifts are hard to analyze, especially because traditional machismo attitudes toward women don’t seem to be softening, and abortion is still widely condemned. What seems clear is that religious bodies are not able to stop political change when the political leaders decide to act.

Just think what would happen here if religious leaders led the way–since most of our political leaders seem afraid to do so.

I am sure that already MCC is making a difference in Latin America, opening many churches and helping local activist groups. Can we gain inspiration from Latin America?