Baja California’s lawmakers voted recently against a bill to finally repeal the constitutional amendment saying that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Right now, same-sex couples who want to wed need to obtain a federal court ruling in order to be able to marry in the Mexican state.
If that bill went through, all this process would have stopped, and same-sex couples would have had the same rights as heterosexual couples. Read on for the full story.
Baja California in Mexico Votes Against Same-Sex Marriage Equality
Lawmakers took up the vote in an online meeting. To pass, it needed 17 “yes” votes. Unfortunately, only 15 voted for it. Three voted “nay” while seven abstained.
Before the voting began, about 100 LGBT supporters gathered in the city of Mexicali, and as expected, the religious groups were the first to oppose.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Ensenada lawmaker Miriam Cano originally introduced the bill. Cano, a member of the National Regeneration Movement Party, expressed her disappointment, saying:
“This bill came out at the request of the community and due to the recommendations made by the National Human Rights Commission.”
As for those who abstained from the vote, they claimed they need more time to look into the issue. Deputy Montserrat Caballero told Mexico Daily News:
“This is very sad. This is a sad day for our state’s history, “People pay us to take a vote. To vote yes or no. Not to worry about our seats and abstain from voting,”
Of course opponents of the bill are in a celebratory mood after the vote. The conservative group, National Front for the Family, claimed it would “damage families, which are formed with the goal of procreation.”
Marcela Vaquera, a spokeswoman for the organization, said:
“As parents, we appreciate that the legislators have listened to us since the legalization of marriage equality was just going to be the beginning of actions that seem unfair to us for our children, like transgender bathrooms in schools.”
In 2015. Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. However, Baja California later announced that they would not enforce the ruling.
LGBTQ Rights in Mexico
Mexico has always been one of the most progressive countries, and while some others talk about the decriminalization of homosexuality in the early 90’s, Mexico legalized it back in 1871.
Even more, the Congress of Mexico had openly gay politicians from 1982, which makes this situation a little odd.
But, it’s worth mentioning that transgender people have the right to change their gender in their birth certificates since 2004 and civil unions started being recognized back in 2006.
Even if that’s the case and every state must follow the Federal Civil Code, some aspect, such as civil unions and same-sex marriages haven’t really been discussed. The good news is though, that many states made a legislation for them.
In 2016, President Enrique Peña Nieto tried to change Mexico’s constitution to officially legalize same-sex marriages everywhere, but it didn’t pass.
However, most states started legalizing same-sex marriages since then, including Baja California. LGBTQ advocates say the fight is far from over.