Saltillo, Mexico — For the first time, a Mexican state legislature has voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
In spite of opposition from conservative groups - including the Catholic Church - the Congress of the Mexican state of Coahuila on Monday voted 19-1 to alter more than 40 parts of the state’s civil code to make marriage gender neutral - making it the first state in Mexico to legalize same-sex marriage through its state legislature.
For the past seven years, same sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions in Coahuila, but have not been allowed to get married. Lawmakers have changed the civil code which defined marriage as a "union between a man and woman for the purpose of procreation" to "a union between 2 people with the possibility of procreation or adoption."
The law takes effect in one week, at which time same-sex couples will be "entitled to all the benefits that civil marriage means," according to Deputy Ricardo López Campos, coordinator of committees of the Interior, Justice and Constitutional Issues.
Governor Rubén Moreira Valdez welcomed the adoption of the marriage equality law, congratulating lawmakers for passing the measure "by a majority, with sensitivity, tolerance, and respect for human rights.
Same-sex marriage is also legal in Mexico’s Federal District (Mexico City) and in the state of Quintana Roo, where the secretary of state determined in 2012 that the state’s civil code was also gender neutral.
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that legally performed same-sex marriages must be recognized in all 31 states throughout the country, though the ruling did not require states to allow same-sex marriages to be performed within their jurisdiction.Source: LGBTQNation