The city legislature passes a bill redefining marriage as a 'free union between two people.' The mayor is expected to sign it into law.
By Tracy Wilkinson
3:30 PM PST, December 21, 2009
Reporting from Mexico City
The Mexico City government approved a far-reaching gay-rights bill Monday, voting to allow people of the same sex to marry and to adopt children.Ending a lively debate and turning aside opposition from the influential Roman Catholic Church, this massive city's leftist-dominated legislature approved the measure by a 39-20 vote. Mayor Marcelo Ebrard must sign the bill into law, and he is expected to do so.
"This is wonderful," gay-rights activist Judith Vasquez said from the noisy legislature floor. Gay "couples have effectively been together for years, decades, centuries. But now it is our right."Uruguay was the first country in Latin America to recognize same-sex unions. But Mexico City's initiative goes further by rewriting the law to redefine "marriage" as a "free union between two people."
Several countries, most of them in Europe, and a handful of U.S. states have legalized same-sex marriage in recent years, and the issue is being hotly debated in some parts of predominantly Catholic Latin America.
Opposition to the measure in the city's legislature came mainly from the conservative National Action Party of President Felipe Calderon.
The church labeled the proposal immoral, saying marriage must hold the promise of procreation, something that is only possible between a man and a woman."It is an aberration," said activist Jorge Serrano Limon. "Marriage cannot be between men. That is absurd."
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