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Mexico: Marriage and Adoption for Gay Couples in the Capital

Gay marriage has been legalized in Mexico City, after reforms made to the civil code by the Legislative Assembly on December 21. In the same meeting, a law was passed allowing gay couples to adopt children.

This was the next step after the approval of civil unions in 2006, which gave legal recognition of homosexual couples with certain rights similar to marriage (Sociedades de convivencia [es], or civil partnership), following the state of Coahuila which months before accepted this type of union [es]. Approximatedly 600 unions were given in two years in the Mexican capital, as reported by the newspaper El Universal [es] on June.

Photo by Flickr user Esparta. Used with permission following a Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/2764876870/

Photo by Flickr user Esparta. Used with permission following a Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/2764876870/

Mexico City is the second Latin American city to legalize gay marriage, after Buenos Aires, Argentina. Supporting gay rights and marriage defies the commonly accepted ‘macho’ figure and the conservative family structure, as well as the strong religion beliefs rooted in Mexican culture. Religious leaders have already spoken publicly against the Assembly’s decision. Catholic Cardinal Norberto Rivera has called the approval of gay marriage [es] “an immoral law” and an “abomination”.

Blogger Martxele from the blog La fuga del caos shares a softer conservative view, arguing that gay marriage and adoption only favor a few [es], as it happened on Mexico City:

Justo ahora cuando la unión libre es el paradigma entre los jóvenes heterosexuales, cuando el matrimonio se ve como una cosa del pasado y muchos lo consideran un bonito lastre, sale nuestra asamblea capitalina a “bendecir” las uniones gays.

Porque ¿qué cosa es eso sino una “bendición” legal? Ya existían las sociedades de convivencia, muy poco socorridas, por cierto (en el primer año beneficiaron a menos de 1000 personas, o sea menos de 500 parejas, en una ciudad del 20 millones de habitantes, el 0.005 % si no me equivoco), ¿qué beneficio añadido puede darles? ¿Adoptar?

Just now when free union is the paradigm of heterosexual couples, when marriage is seen as something from the past, and many people consider it as a nice burden, our capital assembly gives its “blessing” to the gay unions.

Because what is that [marriage] but a legal “blessing”? Civil unions already existed, poorly required, by the way (in the first year they favored less than 1,000 people, which means less than 500 couples, in a city of 20 millions of habitants, 0.005 % if I’m not wrong), what other benefit can be given? Adopting?

On the other side of the spectrum, the phrase “Mexico city” reached the trending topics of Twitter, as citizens like Grisel García celebrated the achievement:

Aprobaron en México City los matrimonios y la adopción de hijos para la comunidad lesbico-gay , woww que modernos nos estamos volviendo ;)

Gay marriages and adoption were approved in Mexico City for the lesbian-gay community, woww how modern are we becoming ;)
Photo by Flickr user by ORNI¡. Used with permission following a Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orni68/702482232/

Photo by Flickr user by ORNI¡. Used with permission following a Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orni68/702482232/

The community, however, remains somewhat skeptical. When it comes to defending rights, Mexican citizens share their doubts of how effective the changes would be for the gay community in a country that suffers from political corruption at all levels. Marina and Maria, a couple from Aguascalientes who blog at 2 lunas 5 estrellas, think the victory should not be taken lightly [es]:

El paso se ha dado, familias homoparentales hemos de lograr el reconocimiento total de nuestros derechos, como siempre hace falta analizar con LUPA esta disposición pues sabemos que nuestro sistema judicial no se precia de ser muy transparente y claro que digamos, sin embargo, representa un TRIUNFO para la causa LGBT en nuestro país.

The step is completed, we the homo-parental families have to achieve the total recognition of our rights, as usual we must analyze this reform with a MAGNIFYING GLASS because we know our judicial system is not known for being transparent and clear, however, it represents a TRIUMPH for the LGBT cause in our country.

For Iván Nieblas one thing is saying what is legal and what is not, and another is how it finally works out, as he expressed on Twitter [es]:

Ahora falta que el matrimonio gay sea como la ley sobre el aborto: que les nieguen el servicio.

The least of what we need for gay marriage is to happen what did with the abortion law: that the service will be denied to them.

Twitter parody user elnaquito acidly questions who cast the first stone [es] against the gay marriage law:

Dice la Iglesia q la adopción en parejas gays causa daño psicológico y moral en los niños…será que no quieren competencia?

Church says that adoption for gay couples may cause psychological and moral harm on children… they say so because they want no competitors for them?

Anonymous blogger from Machete en mano believes that gay marriage might help to integrate the Mexican community [es]:

Esto simboliza para mi un buen avanze hacia una sociedad mexicana basada en la equidad y justicia. Espero ver mas y mas reformas liberales por parte del gobierno (aunque segun algunos sean aprobadas de formas “tramposas”) hasta el punto en que no existan “ciudadanos de segunda clase” o “raritos”. Ya que como mexicanos tomos somos iguales, o por lo menos se supone que lo somos.

To me, this symbolizes a step forward for a Mexican society based on equity and justice. I hope to see more and more liberal reforms by the government (although some of them are approved in a “cheating” manner) until the point that there are no “second-class citizens” or “queers”. As Mexicans we are all the same, or at least that is what we are supposed to be.

Blogger Rino, a 17-year-old gay blogger from Cancún, considers that legality is just the beginning of change [es], not the end, as the community has the last word:

El problema siento yo, que a pesar de que ya sea legal, todavía falta que haya aceptación social porque no todas las personas ven esto como correcto, pero con el tiempo tengo cambiará, o al menos se verá como algo más normal.

The problem that I see is that even though it is legal, social acceptance is still needed, because not all people consider this right, but time will change that, or at least it will be seen as more normal.

Although there has not been a formal census for the homosexual community, it is estimated that the community stands between 5 and 10 percent of the population of the country. The Mexican Society of Humanist and Integral Sexology (Sociedad Mexicana de Sexología Humanista Integral) recently reported that 20% of the total population (120 millions) has or had at some moment a relationship with a person of the same-sex, as quoted by the BBC [es].

2 comments

  • john r

    this appears to be a discussion about changes in marriage and the desire to return to the good old days, of just a man and a woman…………………..guess what there never were any good old days. in the fifties and sixties people were forced to stay in bad marriages because of social pressures. they were forced to stay in marriages that were highly disfunctional, with physical,emotional and pschological abuse and there was absolutely no open discussion about it. the 50% divorce rate is the attempt to deal with all those issues. people are seeking wholeness in their marriages.

    today if you hear your fiance refering to either of you as the better half, break off the engagement immediately. no one gets into a marriage anymore to make themselves complete.

    and now we are seeing that those who are homosexual are capable of the same devotion, committment and sharing as those that are heterosexual. and in addition, because they are legal have the same right to get it wrong. equal protection says that what ever heterosexuals are allowed to do, so too will homosexuals as well and……….without a scintllla less.

    and if the concern is that catholic church is without giving sanction. consider that the catholic church still is making making unchallengable regulations (the magisterium) for believers to live by as in the old covenant in deut.28. in other words they are still supporting the understanding that believers have a relationship to god thru regulation rather than directly to the one who lives in each believer.

    my understanding concerning massachussetts, that since the legalization of homosexuality, the rate of divorce has actually dropped.

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