Senators voted 23-8 in favor of the bill. A version had already been passed by the lower house in December. The Senate version must now return to the lower chamber.
If approved, the law would make Uruguay the second nation in Latin America and the 12th in the world to legalize homosexual "marriage." Argentina legalized in in 2010, despite the efforts of the Church led by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
The Director of International Coordination for Human Life International, Joseph Meaney, spoke to Vatican Radio about the new legislation: "It's part of a trend actually in Uruguay, which is a very liberal country by Latin American standards."
Speaking about the broader social context in Latin America, he suggested that the legalization of same sex "marriage" in Argentina probably had an influence in Uruguay.
"In fact, Pope Francis when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires spoke out very strongly, and of course the bishops in Uruguay have as well," Meaney said. "One thing that is strange about Uruguay is that they actually legalized the adoption of children by same sex couples before they legalized same sex 'marriage' ... of course when they did so, the Church protested tremendously, including Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno, saying that is was completely against human nature and the fundamental rights of the human being of the person."
"But it's a very radical agenda," Meaney said. "It's not just same sex 'marriage,' but even before they passed that, they passed civil unions and the adoption of children by homosexual couples."