President Enrique Peña Nieto Tuesday announced he would be sending a proposal to Congress to change the Constitution and amend the civil code to make same-sex marriage legal in Mexico.
The move would cement marriage equality in federal law following a Supreme Court ruling last year that it was unconstitutional for states to prohibit persons of the same gender from applying to get married.
That ruling opened the way for dozens of same-sex couples in Jalisco to wed and subsequently enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. The local legislature, however, has yet to change the state constitution and civil code to reflect the court’s decision, although this is expected to happen at some time during the current session. Same sex marriage is currently
permitted in Mexico City, as well as in Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.
Peña Nieto made the announcement at an event to mark International Day Against Homophobia. His announcement was welcomed by gay rights groups and, predictably, criticized by
Catholic Church leaders.
Getting the legislation passed Congress would seem relatively simple, as only the conservative National Action Party (PAN) oppose same-sex marriage. Two-thirds of state legislatures would then need to approve any change to the Mexican Constitution.