Newspaper article International New York Times

Mexico Takes Step toward Nationwide Gay Marriage

Newspaper article International New York Times

Mexico Takes Step toward Nationwide Gay Marriage

Article excerpt

President Enrique Pena Nieto submitted a proposal to Congress that would bring national law into line with recent Supreme Court rulings.

President Enrique Pena Nieto says he will submit a proposal to Congress to legalize same-sex marriage, as Mexico presses forward with breaking long-held taboos in Latin America.

Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil already allow same-sex marriage, and Colombia's high court declared last month that gay couples had a constitutional right to marry. With the addition of Mexico, more than 70 percent of Latin Americans would live in countries where same-sex marriage is permitted.

Mr. Pena Nieto said on Tuesday that his two bills would change the Constitution to incorporate the right for same-sex couples to wed and would modify the federal civil code to assure marriage equality.

Those changes would turn into law a ruling last year by the nation's Supreme Court that it was unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriage. In practice, though, the effect of the ruling was to legalize gay marriage without requiring Mexico's states to rewrite their marriage laws.

"In our country, there can't be those who have certain rights in some states and others who do not," Mr. Pena Nieto said at a ceremony for the National Day of the Fight Against Homophobia.

Revising the Constitution, he said, would incorporate marriage equality as a human right with full clarity.

Since the Supreme Court's ruling, several states have pushed back, revising their local constitutions to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman.

"We are changing the concept that marriage is only to propagate the species," said Humberto Castillejos, the president's legal counsel. "It cannot only be to procreate children."

The president's proposal is intended to make recognition of marriage equality "automatic and for the whole country," Mr. …

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