Mexico’s President Pushes for Legalizing Gay Marriage in Majority Catholic Country

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Mexico's main religion is Roman Catholicism. Around 83 percent of the population are Roman Catholics. In fact, Mexico has the 2nd largest Catholic community in the world.

Mexico’s President Pushes for Legalizing Gay Marriage in Majority Catholic Country[/tweetthis]

It is the stand of the Catholic Church that a marriage can be only between a man and a woman. The Church opposes both religious and civil same-sex marriages. It is also the view of the Church that the legalization of same-sex marriage could cause harm to the society.

Enrique Pena Nieto, the President of Mexico, last Tuesday, proposed the legalization of gay marriage. He has already signed initiatives that would add same-sex marriage provisions to the Mexico’s National Civil Code and Constitution. Gay marriage is already legal in a few places in Mexico, like the capital, the Quintana Roo state on the Caribbean coast, and the northern state of Coahuila. The President's proposal, if accepted, would provide for the expansion of gay marriage rights across the country.

The spokesperson for the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico City, Reverend Hugo Valdemar, has urged the lawmakers to reject the proposal. According to Valdemar, marriage has certain values that a same-sex couple would not be able to fulfill. He said the proposal is a just a distraction to turn the Brazilian people's attention from more serious issues like corruption and violence that the country is going through right now.

Brazil's Supreme Court, last year, ruled that it is unconstitutional for Mexican states to ban same-sex marriages. This, however, did not change any state laws. If a same-sex couple wants to get married legally, they would have to sue in the court first. If President Pena Nieto's proposal is accepted by the lawmakers, then the state laws would change, and a same-sex couple would be able to directly get married, legally.

According to Andrew Chesnut, chairman of Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, a recent Pew survey of same-sex marriage and LGBT issues closely mirrors that of American people's. Chesnut further said that the proposal actually shows the rapidly decreasing influence of the Church on both the social and political front.

If President Pena Nieto's proposal is approved, Mexico would become the 5th country in Latin America to make gay marriage legal. According to the President, he wants to change Article 4 of the Constitution to clearly reflect the country's recognition of human rights. Nieto’s proposal would enable all to marry without discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity or sexual preference.

Countries same-sex marriage4

According to a Pew research, 23 countries around the world have so far legalized same-sex marriage.


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