The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ecuador offers parity for same-sex unions
Friday, July 25, 2008

Ecuador's 444-article draft constitution, which promises "socialism for the 21st century" and expands the powers of the country's leftist president, was approved Thursday by a majority of the National Assembly.

The constitution, the Andean nation's 20th, now goes to a national referendum Sept. 28.

Ninety-four of the 130 Assembly members backed the document sought by President Rafael Correa, the BBC reported.

Its 444 articles include a provision that same-sex unions be afforded the same rights as heterosexual marriages.

If approved, Ecuador would become the second Latin American country, after Uruguay, to legalize same-sex unions. Some states in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico offer such unions, and Colombia gives cohabiting couples property, inheritance and Social Security rights.

Among the constitution's other provisions:

The president can dissolve Congress once and Congress will have one opportunity to unseat the president, the Associated Press reported. In either case, general elections would be called.

The president controls monetary and credit policy, which are currently handled by the Central Bank.

The president can run for one four-year term of reelection.

Unpaid domestic work will be considered productive labor and those who work in the home are eligible for Social Security.

Military service will no longer be mandatory.

Foreign military bases or installations will be prohibited on Ecuadorean soil. The United States has operated anti-drug surveillance flights out of Ecuador's Manta air base since 1999. The 10-year lease expires next year, and will not be renewed.

Undocumented immigrants will not be considered "illegal."

The appropriation of genetic resources that contain biological diversity and agricultural biodiversity will be prohibited.

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