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Mexican Congress Blocks Same-Sex Marriage

Cándido Rojas Ochoa of the Green Party said he was voting against the measure because of constitutional conflicts and because marriage is governed by state civil codes
By The News · 10 of November 2016 09:47:39
President Enrique Peña Nieto offers a message concerning the U.S. presidential election, No available, photo: Cuartoscuro/Moisés Pablo

On Wednesday, a committee of the Chamber of Deputies rejected President Enrique Peña Nieto’s proposal to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, a move that sparked massive demonstrations for and against.

The initiative was rejected by a vote of 19-8, with one abstention, in the Committee on Constitutional Matters of the Chamber.

Secretary of the commission Edgar Castillo Martínez said the result means that the matter is “totally and definitively concluded,” according to a summary released online by the Chamber of Deputies.

The Supreme Court ruled last year that it was unconstitutional for states to prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex, but that decision had no effect to revoke or modify any law, which meant that couples still had to file a suit in each case.

Same-sex marriages have only been formally legalized in some jurisdictions, such as Mexico City, the northern state of Coahuila and Quintana Roo.

Peña Nieto’s proposal would have introduced discretion to the Supreme Court and would have extended that right to the whole country. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) suffered heavy setbacks in legislative elections held in June and subsequently, has not pushed the issue.

Legislator Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), said the move had been blocked due to political manipulations.

“A reform that we should be proud of,” said Acosta, according to the transcript. “For the rights of minorities should not put to a vote, they should be expanded and recognized, and it is Congress who should safeguard them.”

Cándido Rojas Ochoa of the Green Party — allied with the PRI — said he was voting against the measure because of constitutional conflicts and because marriage is governed by state civil codes.

“How are you going to support the family if the explanatory memorandum says that procreation is not a decisive element of marriage?” he asked.