Nothing like this has been seen on this issue in South America before:
Zenit: Some 635,000 signatures in defense of marriage and family were presented to the Argentinean Senate, as legislators consider legalizing same-sex unions and adoption by same-sex couples.
Senator Liliana Negre de Alonso, president of the Senate's General Legislation Commission, received Monday representatives of various institutions who handed her 524,000 signatures and a statement supported by more than 400 organizations. A separate 110,000 signatures were also turned in from people who are urging lawmakers to put the issue before a popular vote.
The five spokesmen presenting the signatures affirmed that they represent the will of the people and that the nation's Senate cannot ignore it.
One of the representatives, Nicolás Perkins, speaking on behalf of a children's advocacy group, lamented that lawmakers make themselves oblivious to thousands of Argentineans who "seem non-existent because we don't appear in the media."
"I am convinced that in the manifestations that occurred [...] 'the great homeland' was seen," Perkins said. "In the name of the 524,000 wills we ask you, Senators, to assume the will of the hundreds of thousands of silent Argentineans."
Senator Negre de Alonso promised to make the signatures and the material collected at the marches, such as photos and videos, known to the other senators before the vote they were scheduled to make today. Their decision will determine if the legislation is to be presented to the chamber on July 14. It was already approved by the Chamber of Deputies.
Guillermo Cartasso, of the bishops' commission for legislative issues, observed that "if in a month more than half a million signatures have been collected, there is no doubt that these signatures represent the popular will, and that the senators must not legislate against the common good ..."
Will the government respect the will of the people? Stay tuned.