The Oaxaca Congress approved same-sex marriage after a heated debate last Wednesday, making it the 18th state to support gay marriage rights. The final vote was 25 in favour and 10 against, which came amid protests for and against by the LGBT community and evangelical Christians. The bill removes the definition of marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman from the state’s Civil Code.
“Marriage is a civil contract celebrated between two people who unite in order to celebrate a life in common, and to provide each other with respect, equality and mutual help,” the Civil Code now reads.
Evangelical pastors and like-minded citizens gathered Wednesday morning to protest the amendment, showing their support for the “original design” of the family, composed of a man and a woman.
Members of the LGBT community condemned the protest, considering it a type of hate speech. When the law was approved, however, they were jubilant, celebrating in the esplanade of the legislature in San Raymundo Jalpan, south of Oaxaca City.
Same-sex marriage is performed without restriction in Mexico City and in the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo and San Luis Potosí, as well as in certain municipalities in Guerrero, Querétaro and Zacatecas. Altogether, 56% of the population live in states and municipalities that perform same-sex marriage. Legislation to change the laws covering same-sex marriage is currently proposed in almost every other state. In addition, courts in all states must approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples when petitioned to do so; individual same-sex marriages have occurred in every state.
Since August 2010, same-sex marriages performed within Mexico are recognized by the 31 states without exception, and fundamental spousal rights (such as alimony payments, inheritance rights, and the coverage of spouses by the federal social security system) also apply to same-sex couples across the country
In Puerto Vallarta, one of the largest Pride events in Mexico occurs for a week in the month of May; events often include a mass wedding ceremony.