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Gay Marriage Legalization Proposed for Entire Country

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November 25, 2013

Next Wednesday, November 27, 2013, a group of senators will present to Congress a legal reform to establish marriage as 'the free union of two people,' not only just that between a man and a woman.

Mexico City, Mexico - A group of senators has proposed a legal reform to allow marriage between same-sex couples throughout Mexico.

Currently, same-sex unions are legal in Mexico City and, in a way, in Colima and Jalisco. The proposal would reform the Federal Civil Code to establish marriage as "the free union of two people," not only that between a man and a woman.

Senator Fernando Mayans, from the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, unveiled the initiative to his parliamentary group last week. The proposal will be presented to the full Senate on Wednesday so they can take the opportunity to analyse it in committees.

The proposal indicates that each state congress will have to apapt the legislation for their state, with the goal of "regulating the institution of marriage based on the principles, human rights, and individual guarantees provided by the Constitution."

The proposal’s supporters ask for approval of the reform "without prejudice, as its only and final purpose is to give full validity and constitutional life to precepts that express the way of life Mexican society wants to have. Where living together deserves to be within the frame of respect for human rights, and therefore, exempt from all types of discrimination. It should be under conditions of equality and with protection of their basic rights, as is the traditional family."

The publisher of the initiative said in the Senate Gazette:

"The presented reform is in agreement with and responds to a legislative tendency on an international level from different countries that have recognized what marriage is in legal and jurisprudential terms, to the unions between same-sex couples, as is the case in Spain, the Netherlands or South Africa, and in Canada."

The document argues that the proposal has legal grounds in the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, which declared same-sex marriage to be constitutional and valid in D.F. in 2010.

Although the initiative does not refer specifically to adoption, there is the implicit legal recognition in what was considered by the Court, which expressed that the legal recognition of a gay couple implied obtaining access to those rights which go along with civil marriage.

In an interview, Luis Guzmán, lawyer and vice-president of "Cohesion of Differences for Sustainability" (Codise,) said that it is all about a show of good will from the legislators. Codice is an organisation in favor of the rights of the LGBT community in Jalisco.

Guzmán explained, "The fact that the Federal Civil Code will be reformed would not directly impact in which states same sex couples can marry. It would be necessary to have a reform in each state to be able to put these marriages in place."

Guzmán believes that this proposal would open the way for discussion of the subject once again on a national level and would help to foster understanding in society.

According to the lawyer, "Each congress of the states of the Republic that wishes to change its legislation can do so, but not where there is no will - where the state legislators still don't wish to broach the subject, where it gives them fear - where they do not wish to take on the political cost."

According to the 2010 "National Survey On Discrimination" in Mexico, for 67.8 percent of Mexicans nothing justifies the opposition against two people of the same sex getting married. However, 65 percent of 18-29 year olds believe that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt.

The Historic Legal Battle

The Supreme Court has resolved that these unions are valid in other states and, therefore, should be recognized by the local authorities.

Mexico City was the first federal entity to legalize same-sex marriages - which have been possible there since March 2010. The reform gives same-sex couples the same rights to adoption, social security, and housing benefits as other couples.

The state of Jalisco legalized same-sex unions this month, with the concept of free cohabitation, which is performed before a notary and permits similar benefits [as marriage] to two or more persons, whether they are of the same sex or not. However, they do not have the right to adopt.

In Colima same-sex civil unions were approved in July, using the legal concept of the marriage bond.

Some municipalities in Quintana Roo and Oaxaca have allowed same-sex marriage, based on the Court’s non-discrimination principles, and indeed, under amparo [order of protection, similar to an injunction.]

The Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers already recognizes the conjugal rights of all members, and offers them health services. Meanwhile, the Mexican Institute of Social Security only grants this service to couples who have pursued legal means and obtained an order of protection.

PAN Disapproves of the Proposal

The conservative and traditionally Catholic National Action Party’s (PAN) leader in the Senate, Jorge Luis Preciado, said that his bench will analyse the proposal, although he foresees that they will vote against it.

When asked about the proposal, the Preciado said, "It is a subject which the parliamentary group is discussing. Initially we would vote against it, as we have done many times. It is a subject that will be discussed in committees, and then, the parliamentary group would vote against it."

PAN, the second biggest party in the Senate, voted against same-sex marriage when it was discussed in the Mexico City Legislative Assembly in 2009. The PAN members will argue that same-sex marriage is against the concept of the family.

Spanish Original by CNN Mexico - Translated by Roxy Thompson on