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As goes Coahuila… or let me not to marriage admit impediments

2 September 2014

When Coahuila passed Mexico’s first “Civil Unions” legislation (allowing for same-gender couples to gain legal recognition for their union, but only in the state of Coahuila) in January 2007,  the bill passed by only a small margin, and — despite official backing by the Bishop of Saltillo — was considered a radical step for a Latin American jurisdiction.  Of course, the Bishop, Raul Vera, was considered something of a radical within the Church and within Mexican public life, but still….

When Federal District Assembly passing the country’s first same-sex marriage bill a few months later, conservatives attempted to profit from an expected backlash (polls at the time showing most Mexican opposed same-sex marriage) and from clerical objections (not every Bishop is as enlightened as Don Raul), in several states, politicians ran on a platform of supporting “one man-one woman” marriage laws.  Those laws are slowly being undone both through federal lawsuits against the states (the Mexican Constitution precludes discrimination not just on the usual race, and gender and religion, but on “affectational preference” as well) and the simple recognition that creating a secondary class of marriage, whether like Coahuila’s “Civil Solidarity Pacts” or Colima’s  “enlace conjugal” (Conjugal ties) was a bureaucratic solution creating its own set of difficulties.  First of all, it means a whole different set of records, and secondly, defining what ones rights and benefits accrue to a couple solely at the state level.   Is a surviving spouse in a Colima “Enlace Conjugal” entitled social security payments, if the late partner was a state employee?  And what if the couple moved to Nayarit when they retired?  With marriages in any part of the republic valid throughout the republic, it is simpler for all concerned  being recognized at the federal level.  And besides, as the conservatives — much to their consternation — have discovered, same-sex marriages didn’t create any social problems and basically, Mexicans still follow Benito Juarez’ advice in respecting the rights of others.

And so, almost without debate, yesterday, the Coahuila State Legislature — by a vote of 19 to 3 —  changed the definition of marriage to “ la unión libre de dos personas sin importar su sexo” (“the union of two persons, without reference to their sex”).  The new marriage law takes effect next Monday. 

El Congreso de Coahuila aprueba por mayoría el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, Emeequis (01 September 2014)

Civil Unions bill passed in Coahuila… wow!, Mexfiles (11 January 2007)

Separate but not equal, Mexfiles (7 June 2014)




3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jared Grymaloski permalink
    3 September 2014 2:49 pm

    Hi Rich – I enjoyed reading your book Gods Gachupines and Gringos and always look forward to reading your posting on Mex Files. I know you amass a wealth of information and here is one incident from many coming out of city hall, Puerto Vallarta where we live year round. This property had no building permit, far exceeds the square footage allotment for the lot size and the encroachment is downright unbelievable BUT the pesos trumps any bylaws and building codes here in Puerto Vallarta. After 5 trips to City Hall that ended with a prominent builder and a lawyer they finally got a building permit but after the horse was let out of the barn!!! They are still going up and talk about an eyesore!!! Jared Grymaloski

    > >

  2. 26 September 2014 2:53 am

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.


  1. What if they had a cultural revolution and nobody freaked? | The Mex Files

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