WATCH: Mexican Border State Approves Marriage Law

By Thom Senzee

Originally published on Advocate.com September 03 2014 3:23 PM ET

Coahuila has become the first Mexican state to legalize same-sex marriage by way of its legislature, in a nearly unanimous vote Monday, reports LGBT journalist Rex Wockner.

Lawmakers in the northern state, which shares a border with Texas, adopted the new language by a vote of 19-1. According to a translation of the law posted on Wockner's news blog, Coahuila's marriage law now declares, "Marriage is the free union with full consent of two people, which has as its objective to realize community life where both [people] seek respect, equality and mutual aid, and make in a free, responsible, voluntary and informed way reproductive decisions that fit their life project, including the possibility of procreation or adoption."

The legislation affects 40 aspects of existing civil code in the state, notes Wockner, including parental rights — which have long been a key sticking point for activists fighting for the freedom to marry in Mexico.

Meanwhile, progress in securing marriage and greater LGBT equality throughout the rest of the country has been piecemeal and largely secured through judicial and administrative victories.

In 2009 lawmakers in Mexico's federal district, which includes the nation's capital of Mexico City, voted to allow same-sex marriage in the region. The following year Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages performed in the nation's capital must be recognized in every Mexican state. In 2012 the Supreme Court struck down Oaxaca's ban on same-sex marriage, in a sweeping ruling that advocates say could pave the way for national marriage equality. Last year two same-sex couples won the right to marry in Jalisco and Chihuahua, respectively, through individual court orders that did not have broader implications for same-sex couples in those regions. 

The new law's Spanish text reads, "El matrimonio es la unión libre y con el pleno consentimiento de dos personas, que tiene como objeto realizar la comunidad de vida en donde ambas se procuran respeto, igualdad y ayuda mutua, y toman de manera libre, responsable, voluntaria e informada las decisiones reproductivas que se ajustan a su proyecto de vida, incluida la posibilidad de procrear o adoptar."

Defining the law's "motivation," its text further asserts that it "puts an end to the restrictions and limitations imposed on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, travesti [third gender], transgender and intersex community, which constitute a constitutional and international violation."

Watch a local news report about Monday's vote (in Spanish) below: 

Contributor: 
Thom Senzee