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Mexican Lawmaker Asks for Ban on Public Gay Unions

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September 6, 2013

Mexican lawmaker Rafael Mendoza caused a stir by asking authorities to bar gay weddings from public spaces after mothers complained following a same-sex wedding in the main plaza of Cuauhtemoc.

Mexico City, Mexico A Mexican state legislator has caused a stir by asking authorities to bar gay weddings from public spaces, arguing it confuses children in a state that just approved same-sex civil unions.

Colima state lawmaker Rafael Mendoza said that mothers came to him with complaints after a wedding took place between a US man and a Mexican man in the main plaza of the city of Cuauhtemoc.

He said Tuesday that society is not ready to watch gay weddings, saying the mothers didn't know what to tell their kids when the two men dressed in charro suits kissed.

"Parents are coming to me, to my house, to tell me they are against the city carrying out these weddings in public," Mendoza said. "I am not against these civil unions; the only thing is I don't want them in public."

A rival political group said it plans to file a human rights complaint this week charging Mendoza with discrimination.

His own party, the Democratic Revolution Party, asked him to take back the comments, since the leftist party has championed gay marriages in Mexico.

Mendoza said he is giving up his party leadership in the state congress because he didn't do anything wrong. He said he is representing his constituents and voicing their concerns.

"He is discriminating," said Cuauhtemoc Mayor Indira Vizcaino. "He is claiming that it creates a bad image for children and young people to have these gay weddings in public."

Colima's legislature voted in May to approve a change in the state's constitution to create same-sex civil unions. The law provides gay couples with numerous social benefits similar to those of married couples, but Colima still restricts marriage to a man and a woman.

The city of Cuauhtemoc has pushed for making gay marriage legal, and the mayor says thirty-five same-sex couples have held civil union ceremonies so far and more than a dozen are to come.

Currently, same-sex marriages are allowed in Mexico only in Mexico City and in the southern state of Oaxaca. The northern state of Coahuila began allowing same-sex civil unions in 2007.