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How do Hispanics view gay marriage?

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 27 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2013 05:49:54 AM CDT

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Politics aside, the issue of gay marriage is more of a moral question for many Hispanics.

However, experts say time spent here in the U.S., as well as their view of the church, may have an impact on their overall attitude towards homosexual marriage.

When it comes to legalizing gay marriage, there are only two Spanish-speaking countries where it's happened: Spain and the country of the recently elected pope, Argentina.

According to Erika Sutherland, associate professor at Muhlenberg College, it's mainly due to a backlash against the Catholic Church.

"Although the Catholic Church has evolved at a universal and international level, in different countries it has been associated with very oppressive regimes, and Argentina and Spain would be two very clear, very recent examples," said Sutherland.

On the other end of the spectrum, countries like the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay, have all passed laws constitutionally banning gay marriage.

Brazil, a country that is considered more progressive, is just like the United States where the legality of gay marriage varies by state but is not recognized by the federal government.

"I think that many people throughout Latin America as a rule, are very accepting of gays and of gay unions, but raising it to the sacrament of marriage, I think that's something that many people will fall short of that," said Sutherland.