Recognition of same-sex unions in Mexico


Recognition of same-sex unions in Mexico
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Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage legislation
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In Mexico, only civil marriages are recognized by the law and all its proceedings fall under local state legislation.[1] Same-sex marriages are legally performed in Mexico City and same-sex civil unions are legally performed in Mexico City and the northern state of Coahuila (Civil Pact of Solidarity, PSC), whose legal residents constitute 10.31% of the national population approximately.[nb 1] Same-sex marriages in Mexico City and same-sex civil unions in Coahuila have protected rights throughout the entire country.

In late November 2009, the leading party at the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), announced that it is fine-tuning an amendment to the Civil Code to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico City. A project endorsed by the local Head of Government Marcelo Ebrard but strongly opposed by the second largest political force in the country, the right-of-center National Action Party (PAN) and the Roman Catholic Church. The bill found support from over 600 non-governmental organizations, including the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and Amnesty International (AI). On 21 December 2009, Mexico City became the first Latin American jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage. The law became effective on 4 March 2010.[2]

On August 5, the Supreme Court voted 8-2 to uphold the constitutionality of Mexico City's same-sex marriage law.[3] The Court later ruled on August 10, 2010, that Mexico City marriages are valid throughout the entire country.[4]

Contents

Same-sex civil unions

Mexico City

Being the seat of the Powers of the Union, Mexico City did not belong to any particular state but to all. After years of demanding greater political autonomy, residents were given the right to directly elect the Head of Government of the Federal District and the representatives of the unicameral Legislative Assembly (ALDF) by popular vote in 1997. Ever since, the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has controlled both political powers.

In the early 2000s, Enoé Uranga, an openly lesbian politician and activist, unsuccessfully pushed a bill that would have legalized same-sex civil unions in Mexico City under the name Ley de Sociedades de Convivencia (LSC, Law for Coexistence Partnerships).[5] Despite being passed four times by legislative commissions, the bill repeatedly got stuck in plenary voting for its sensitive nature, which could be attributed to the widespread opposition from right-wing groups and then-Head of Government Andrés Manuel López Obrador's ambiguity concerning the bill.[6] Nonetheless, as new left-wing mayor Marcelo Ebrard was expected to take power in December 2006, the ALDF decided to take up the bill and approved it in a 43-17 vote on 9 November.[6]

Political party Members Yes No Abstain Absent
Party of the Democratic Revolution 34 33 1
National Action Party 17 16 1
Institutional Revolutionary Party 4 4
New Alliance Party 4 2 1 1
Ecologist Green Party of Mexico 3 3
Social Democratic Party 2 2
Labor Party 1 1
Convergence 1 1
Total 66 43 17 5 1

The law was well-received by feminist and LGBT groups, including Emilio Álvarez Icaza, then-chairman of the Federal District's Human Rights Commission, who declared that "the law was not a threat to anyone in particular, and that it will be a matter of time before it shows positive consequences for different social groups." It was strongly opposed by right-wing groups such as the National Parents' Union and the Roman Catholic Church, which labeled the assemblymen who voted for the law as "sinners", and complained it was "vengeance against the Catholic Church from the more radical groups from the left, who felt it was a demand for justice."[6] The law officially took effect on 16 March 2007.[7] Mexico City's first same-sex civil union was between Jorge Cerpa, a 31-year-old economist, and Antonio Medina, a 38-year-old journalist.[7] As of December 2009, 736 same-sex civil unions have taken place in the city since the law became effective, of which 24 have been annulled (3%).[8]

Year Unions Annulled
2007 257 10
2008 268 14
2009 211
Total 736 24

Coahuila

The legalization of same-sex civil unions in Coahuila had started to be discussed as early as November 2006.[9] On 11 January 2007, in a 20–13 vote the congress of the northern state of Coahuila legalized same-sex civil unions under the name Pacto Civil de Solidaridad (PCS, Civil Pact of Solidarity), which gives property and inheritance rights to same-sex couples. Similar to France's Pacte Civil de Solidarité and Germany's Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft.[10][11]

Political party Members Yes No Abstain Absent
PRI party.png Institutional Revolutionary Party 20 19 1
PAN party.png National Action Party 9 9
PRD party.png Party of the Democratic Revolution 2 1 1
Coat of arms of Coahuila.svg Democratic Unity of Coahuila 2 2
PVEM party.png Ecologist Green Party of Mexico 1 1
PT party.png Labor Party 1 1
Total 35 20 13 2

"The PCS represents a sensible response to the existence of citizens who traditionally have been victims of discrimination, humiliation and abuse. This does not have to do with morality. It has to do with legality. As human beings, we have to protect them as they are. It has to do with civil liberty," said congresswoman Julieta López, who pushed the bill, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), whose 19 members voted for the law.[11] Luis Alberto Mendoza, deputy of the center-right National Action Party (PAN), which opposed, said the new law was an "attack against the family, which is society's natural group and is formed by a man and a woman."[11] Other than that, the PCS drew little opposition. Bishop Raúl Vera, who heads the Catholic Diocese of Saltillo, declined to condemn the law. While Vera insisted that "two women or two men cannot get married," he also sees gay people as a vulnerable minority. "Today we live in a society that is composed in a different way. There are people who do not want to marry under the law or in the church. They need legal protection. I should not abandon these people."[10] Unlike Mexico City's law, once same-sex couples have registered in Coahuila, the state protects their rights no matter where they live in the country.[10] Twenty days after the law had passed, the country's first same-sex civil union took place in Saltillo, Coahuila. It was between 29-years-olds Karina Almaguer and Karla Lopez, a lesbian couple from Tamaulipas.[12] Since 2007, 196 same-sex couples have entered into a PCS, none of them have been annulled.[13]

Other states

Similar bills have been proposed by the PRD in at least six states.[14] On 7 December 2006, a similar bill to that of Mexico City was proposed in Puebla. But it faced strong opposition and criticism from deputies of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the National Action Party (PAN), who declared that "the traditional family is the only social model, and there cannot be another one."[15] In July 2009, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) introduced a formal initiative to legalize civil unions in the western state of Colima.[16] Nevertheless, the following month, the local legislature decided not to take up the initiative, following widespread opposition from right-wing groups.[17] On 13 November 2006, in neighboring state of Michoacán, it was announced that a similar bill would be formally proposed. However, as of August 2009, it has been stalled, meaning it has not been discussed by the local congress.[18] Additionally, gay rights legislation that could likely include civil unions is being debated in the states of Jalisco and Guerrero.[14] In December 2009, Governor of Colima Mario Anguiano Moreno agreed to discuss the legalization of civil unions and adoption by same-sex couples in the current legislature.[19]

Same-sex marriage

State recognition of same-sex relationships in North America.
  Same-sex marriage1
  Only foreign same-sex marriages recognized
  Other type of partnership1
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Unrecognized or unknown
  No recognition, issue under consideration
  No recognition, only same-sex marriage banned
  No recognition, marriage and civil unions banned
1May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have not entered into effect yet.
State recognition of same-sex relationships in Mexico.
  Same-sex marriage
  Same-sex civil unions
  Same-sex marriages recognized but not performed

Mexico City

On 24 November 2009, PRD assemblyman David Razú proposed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico City.[20] Luis González Plascencia, chairman of the Humans Rights Commission of Mexico City, backed the bill and said that it was up to the Legislative Assembly to consider LGBT adoption.[21] The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), International Amnesty (AI), the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and over 600 non-governmental organizations supported the legalization of same-sex marriage in Mexico City.[22] The PAN has announced it will either go to the courts to appeal the law or demand a referendum.[23][24] However, a referendum on same-sex marriage was rejected by the Legislative Assembly in a 36-22 vote on 18 December 2009.[25] On 21 December 2009, the Legislative Assembly legalized same-sex marriage (39-20) in Mexico City. The bill changes the definition of marriage in the city's Civil Code from "a free union between a man and a woman" to "a free union between two people."[26] The law would grant same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples, including adopting children.[27] The PAN vowed to challenge the law in the courts.[27] On 29 December 2009, Head of Government Marcelo Ebrard signed the bill into law, which became effective on 4 March 2010.[2][28] On August 5, the Supreme Court voted 8-2 to uphold the constitutionality of Mexico City's same-sex marriage law.[29] The Court later ruled on August 10, 2010, that Mexico City marriages are valid throughout the entire country.[30]

Political party Members Yes No Abstain Absent
Party of the Democratic Revolution 34 34
National Action Party 15 15
Institutional Revolutionary Party 8 2 5 1
Labor Party 5 5
Ecologist Green Party of Mexico 3 3
New Alliance Party 1 1
Total 66 39 20 5 2

Yucatán

On the other hand, in the southeastern state of Yucatán, the local Congress overwhelmingly approved a ban on same-sex marriage in a 24–1 vote on 21 July 2009. The law raised heterosexual marriage and families to the constitutional level via the approval of amendments to the state's Civil Code. The bill was promoted by right-wing organization Pro Yucatán Network to reject all efforts by people of the same sex to form a family and adopt children. PAN politicians justified the ban alleging that "there still aren't adequate conditions within Yucatán society to allow for unions between people of the same sex."[31] The event led to protests outside the local Congress by LGBT organizations, whose leaders are expected to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.[32]

Political party Members Yes No Abstain Absent
PRI party.png Institutional Revolutionary Party 14 14
PAN party.png National Action Party 9 9
PRD party.png Party of the Democratic Revolution 1 1
PT party.png Labor Party / CON party.png Convergence 1 1
Total 25 24 1

Other states

After Mexico City's Legislative Assembly legalized same-sex marriages and LGBT adoption in December 2009, debate resurged in states where civil unions had been previously proposed. In the western state of Michoacán, the PRD has announced it will propose both bills, along with same-sex civil unions (Law for Coexistence Partnerships) in 2010.[33] In the southeastern state of Tabasco, 20 same-sex couples sent a motion to the state legislature asking to allow them to marry.[34] The state's largest political parties, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), have announced their support for same-sex marriage in the 2010 agenda.[35] In the northwestern state of Sonora, an initiative to allow same-sex couples to marry has been delivered to the state's Congress by former Labor Party candidate for governor, Miguel Angel Haro Moren, who expects the bill to be well-received by the lawmakers "because the Sonoran society is not conservative, but rather, the political class", Haro said.[36] In Morelos, bills concerning same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples are expected to be proposed by the Labor Party (PT) in mid-2010.[37]

Public opinion

In a Parametría poll, conducted from 17 November to 20 November 2006, 1,200 Mexican adults were asked if they would support a constitutional amendment that would legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico. 17% responded yes, 61% said no and 14% had no opinion. The same poll showed 28% in support of same-sex civil unions, 41% were opposed and 28% had no opinion.[38] From 27 November to 30 November 2009, major Mexican newspaper El Universal polled 1,000 Mexico City citizens concerning the legalization of same-sex marriage in the city. 50% supported it, 38% were against it and 12% had no idea. The same poll showed that support was stronger among the youngest population (age: 18–29), 67%, and weaker among the oldest (age: 50-onwards), 38%. With 48% the most cited reason was "right of choice" for the supporters, followed by "everybody is equal" with 14%. 39% of the opposers cited "it is not normal" as the main reason to not support same-sex marriage, followed by "we lose values" with 18%.[39]

Guillermo Bustamante Manilla, a PAN member and president of UNPF, as well as the father of Guillermo Bustamante Artasánchez, a law director of the Secretary of the Interior, opposes abortion and same-sex civil unions[40] and has called the latter as "anti-natural."[41] He has publicly asked voters not to cast votes for "abortionists" parties and those who are in favor of homosexual relationships.[42]

Notes

  1. ^ The sum of legal residents of the Mexican Federal District (8,836,045) and Coahuila (2,495,200) divided by the total population of Mexico (109,955,400) according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

See also

References

  1. ^ Government of Canada (29 April 2008). "Marriage and Divorce in Mexico". http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/mexico-mexique/consul/mardiv.aspx. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b (Spanish) Mónica Archundia (5 January 2010). "La primera unión gay, para marzo". El Universal. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/ciudad/99607.html. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (5 August 2010). "Mexican court upholds capital's gay marriage law". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grJesfflOb0tjV_flyYRem81BVMwD9HDGON00. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  4. ^ (Spanish) Carlos Áviles Allende (August 10, 2010). "Ratifica corte, bodas gay, válidas en todo el país". El Universal. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/700789.html. Retrieved September 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ Latin American Herald Tribune (16 March 2009). "First Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate Runs in Mexico". http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=329653&CategoryId=14091. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c Erich Adolfo Moncada Cota (19 November 2006). "Mexico City Approves Same Sex Unions". http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?menu=c10400&no=329768&rel_no=1. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  7. ^ a b New York Times (17 March 2007). "A Milestone in Mexico City". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B01E7D91F31F934A25750C0A9619C8B63&scp=2&sq=%22Mexico%20City%22%20%22same%20sex%22&st=cse. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  8. ^ (Spanish) Fernando Martínez (25 December 2009). "Sociedades de convivencia, 97% en pie". El Universal. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/ciudad/99432.html. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  9. ^ BBC News (10 November 2006). "Mexico City passes gay union law". http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6134730.stm. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c S. Lynne Walker (5 March 2007). "New law propels gay rights in Mexico". Mail & Guardian Online. http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070305/news_1n5gaylaw.html. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c Mail & Guardian Online (13 January 2007). "Mexican state approves gay civil unions". http://www.mg.co.za/article/2007-01-13-mexican-state-approves-gay-civil-unions. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (1 February 2007). "Mexico's first civil union". Gay.com UK & Ireland. Archived from the original on 30 May 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070530011312/http://uk.gay.com/headlines/10984. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  13. ^ (Spanish) Karla Garza (17 January 2010). "Decaen pactos de convivencia en Coahuila". Vanguardia. http://www.vanguardia.com.mx/diario/noticia/politica_local/coahuila/decaen_pactos_de_convivencia_en_coahuila/454205. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  14. ^ a b Christine Delsol (26 November 2008). "Mexico's top destinations for gay vacations". San Francisco Gate. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/11/26/mexicomix112608.DTL&type=printable. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  15. ^ (Spanish) Alejrandro Velázquez (27 January 2007). "Más estados van por Ley de Convivencia". Crónica. http://cronica.com.mx/nota.php?id_nota=282837. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  16. ^ (Spanish) Verónica González (30 July 2009). "Proponen en Colima ley en favor de gays". La Jornada. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/07/30/index.php?section=estados&article=030n3est. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  17. ^ (Spanish) Francisco Iglesias (15 August 2009). "Debaten en Colima Sociedades de Convivencia, la rechazan la mayoría". Milenio. http://www.milenio.com/node/267860. Retrieved 15 December 2009. [dead link]
  18. ^ (Spanish) Edgar Raziel Ramirez Avila (15 August 2009). "Sociedad de convivencia en Michoacán". Cambio en Michoacán. http://aceleratussentidos.com/en-el-blog.php?tema=Sociedad%20de%20convivencia%20en%20Michoacan%20parte%201&idan=12. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  19. ^ (Spanish) El Universal (23 December 2009). "Acepta gobernador de Colima debatir sobre sociedades en convivencia". Yahoo! México. http://mx.news.yahoo.com/s/23122009/90/n-mexico-acepta-gobernador-colima-debatir-sociedades.html. Retrieved 26 December 2009. [dead link]
  20. ^ Latin American Herald Tribune (24 November 2009). "Mexico City Lawmakers to Consider Gay Marriage". http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=348002&CategoryId=14091. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  21. ^ (Spanish) Mónica Archundia (25 November 2009). "Proyecto de matrimonio gay "divorcia" a la ALDF". El Universal. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/ciudad/98773.html. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  22. ^ (Spanish) Anodis (11 December 2009). "Preparan dictamen de matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo". http://anodis.com/nota/15163.asp. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  23. ^ (Spanish) Horacio Jiménez y Ella Grajeda (16 December 2009). "PAN amaga con impedir bodas gay". El Universal. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/ciudad/99225.html. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  24. ^ (Spanish) Notimex (15 December 2009). "Recurrirá PAN a Corte de legalizarse 'matrimonio' entre homosexuales". Yahoo! México. http://mx.news.yahoo.com/s/15122009/7/mexico-recurrira-pan-corte-legalizarse-matrimonio.html. Retrieved 16 December 2009. [dead link]
  25. ^ (Spanish) Rocío González Alvarado (18 December 2009). "Rechaza ALDF referéndum para bodas gay". La Jornada. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/12/18/index.php?section=capital&article=032n2cap. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  26. ^ Associated Press (21 December 2009). "Mexico City 1st in region to approve gay marriage". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grJesfflOb0tjV_flyYRem81BVMwD9CNUCH00. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  27. ^ a b Associated Press (21 December 2009). "Mexico City assembly legalizes same-sex marriage". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grJesfflOb0tjV_flyYRem81BVMwD9CNVNF00. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  28. ^ Mark Stevenson (Associated Press) (29 December 2009). "Mexico City enacts region's 1st gay marriage law". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34514521/ns/world_news/. Retrieved 30 December 2009. [dead link]
  29. ^ Associated Press (5 August 2010). "Mexican court upholds capital's gay marriage law". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grJesfflOb0tjV_flyYRem81BVMwD9HDGON00. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  30. ^ http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/700789.html
  31. ^ Jennifer Woodard Maderazo (22 July 2009). "Yucatan Will Penalize Gay Marriage, Abortion". Vivir Latino. http://vivirlatino.com/2009/07/22/yucatan-will-penalize-gay-marriage-abortion.php. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  32. ^ (Spanish) Anodis (21 July 2009). "Aprueba Yucatán ley contra matrimonio gay". http://anodis.com/nota/14423.asp. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  33. ^ (Spanish) Nicolás Casimiro (25 December 2009). "Matrimonios gay y despenalización del aborto, en la agenda del PRD para 2010". Quadratín. http://www.quadratin.com.mx/noticias/nota,60200/. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  34. ^ Ioan Grillo (24 December 2009). "Mexico City's Revolutionary First: Gay Marriage". Time. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1949953,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-bottom/. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  35. ^ (Spanish) Fernando Hernández (15 January 2010). "A favor PRI y PRD del aborto y matrimonios gays". El Heraldo de Tabasco. http://www.oem.com.mx/elheraldodetabasco/notas/n1479102.htm. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  36. ^ (Spanish) Ulises Gutiérrez (13 January 2010). "Proponen matrimonio homosexual en Sonora". La Jornada. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2010/01/13/index.php?section=estados&article=027n6est&partner=rss. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  37. ^ (Spanish) José Luis Garcitapia and Dulce Maya (22 January 2010). "Iniciativa del PT a favor de los matrimonios gay". La Jornada Morelos. http://www.lajornadamorelos.com/noticias/politica/83047-iniciativa-del-pt-a-favor-de-los-matrimonios-gay. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  38. ^ Angus Reid Global Monitor (27 December 2007). "Mexicans Flatly Reject Same-Sex Marriage". http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/14225. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  39. ^ (Spanish) El Universal (27–30 November 2009). "Same-sex marriage poll in Mexico City". http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/graficos/pdf09/infografias/encuesta_g.html. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  40. ^ (Spanish) Álvaro Delgado (13 April 2007). "Calderón, cómplice del clero". Proceso. Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070501003116/http://www.proceso.com.mx/analisis_int.html?an=50027. 
  41. ^ "Mexico City's law on civil unions draws mixed reaction". Noticias, Voz e Imágen de Oaxaca. 16 March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927021509/http://www.noticias-oax.com.mx/articulos.php?id_sec=14&id_art=52132. 
  42. ^ (Spanish) ACI Prensa (30 Abril 2007). "Padres de familia mexicanos piden no votar por partidos abortistas". http://www.aciprensa.com/noticia.php?n=16666. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 

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