June 6, 2016 at 1:02 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Mexican president reiterates same-sex marriage support

Supreme Court, Mexico, gay news, Washington Blade

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. (Photo by Thelmadatter; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has reiterated his support of marriage rights for same-sex couples throughout the country.

Peña wrote in the Huffington Post on June 2 that he announced “a series of initiatives that promote equality” last month during an International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia event. These include a proposed amendment to the Mexican constitution that would allow gays and lesbians to marry.

Peña noted the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that laws banning same-sex marriage were “indeed discriminatory.” He wrote in the Huffington Post that amending his country’s constitution is the only way to “guarantee every person’s full rights” because states are not legally bound to the decision.

Peña last month also announced proposed changes to the country’s national legal code that would address discrimination against LGBT Mexicans.

“It was thus a suitable time to announce these initiatives, which arose out of my government’s and my own personal conviction, to advance toward a more inclusive society,” said Peña. “The overall goal is to achieve a society of rights in which all Mexicans are guaranteed equal rights under the law.”

Catholic Church opposes Peña’s proposal

Mexico City in 2010 became the first jurisdiction in the predominantly Roman Catholic country to allow same-sex couples to legally marry.

Jalisco, in which the resort city of Puerto Vallarta is located, is among the states in which gays and lesbians can tie the knot. Same-sex couples in other jurisdictions throughout the country continue to seek marriage rights through the Mexican judicial system.

Peña in the Huffington Post cited a poll that shows 66 percent of Mexicans “fully or partially agree” the country’s constitution should allow same-sex marriage.

The Associated Press reported last month that two-thirds of the Mexican Congress must approve the proposed amendment. A simple majority of states need to ratify it before Peña can sign it.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Mexico City last month sharply criticized the proposed amendment, pointing out to the Associated Press that same-sex couples are unable to procreate.

Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, a lawyer who has spearheaded same-sex marriage efforts in Mexico, told the Blade on Sunday that he supports the proposed constitutional amendment. He nevertheless said he plans to continue working with gay and lesbian couples who are seeking marriage rights through the country’s judicial system.

“We can continue to get married, whether the reform passes or not,” Méndez told the Blade.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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