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Peña Nieto’s Initiative to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Mexico Voted Down in Congress

LADB Article ID: 80188
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-01-18
By: Carlos Navarro

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s campaign to legalize same-sex marriage throughout Mexico suffered a major setback when a key committee of the Chamber of Deputies rejected an amendment to the Constitution allowing such unions. Peña Nieto had proposed the constitutional change in an initiative sent to Congress in May 2016 . Peña Nieto’s proposal attempted to create a legal framework to legitimize gay marriages, giving same-sex partners access to health, retirement, and other benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. Without issuing a formal ruling on gay marriage, the high court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN) has also weighed in on the issue. In June 2015, the court published an opinion indicating that any definition of marriage as a union between only a man and a woman is discriminatory and in violation of the Constitution. Although the SCJN opinion did not explicitly say that same-sex marriage was legal, it weakened efforts in some states to block same-sex unions The president’s initiative eventually made it to the constitutional issues committee (Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales), where the measure was defeated by a 19-8 vote, with one abstention, during a vote in early November 2016. The failed vote means that the measure will not be sent to the full Chamber of Deputies for a vote.

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