By Mark Chesnut August, 2005 Passport Magazine Two to Tango The handsome young man pressed close to the older gentleman on Florida Street, their feet carefully intertwined, their hands clasped together. The music seemed to dictate precisely their every move. The young man’s steady gaze was focused, passionate, as he countered each step his companion
Argentina is the second largest country in South America by land area, and eighth in the world. Homosexuality in Argentina is not a criminal offence. The Constitution includes a paragraph that bans some anti-gay discrimination. The age of consent is 16 years, gay or straight. There is no clear public policy about health issues like AIDS-prevention programs. There are many taxi boys (rent boys) in certain streets at night who do not have AIDS exam certification cards (prostitution is not legal in Argentina). There is a large number of public baths and gay cinemas without sanitary restrictions.
The law approving Civil Unions in Buenos Aires and Río Negro Province for homosexual couples was endorsed in 2003, and in the town of Villa Carlos Paz in 2007. These unions provide many of the same rights and privileges as that of married couples, however adoption of children is not among them. Despite such laws, Argentina is a machismo Catholic culture and homophobia runs high especially beyond the major cities. Nevertheless, in 2010 gay marriage was made legal and official in Argentina.