Yucatan Congress, forced to vote “yes” to equal marriage

They expect to consider the legal criteria of national and international organizations in favor of human rights. They hope to reform the Family Code that currently discriminates against same-sex couples.

By Herbeth Escalante

Merida, Yucatan, February 12, 2019.- A few days before the State Congress begins the analysis of the bill that proposes reforming the Family Code so that marriages between same-sex couples are legal in Yucatan, activists and civil associations said that the deputies would have to vote in favor of this proposal to take a step in the fight against discrimination of this sector of society.

For the academic and expert on human rights issues, Armando Rivas Lugo, it is imperative that the Yucatecan Congress harmonize its legislation with that established by national and international organizations in that area.

In this regard, he recalled that more than three years ago the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) declared in jurisprudence that state laws that prevent same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

“The ministers indicated that all the Civil and Family Codes that indicate that the only purpose of marriage should be procreation, are discriminatory. And so the Court has reaffirmed with all the amparos granted to same-sex couples who have been married, “he added.

The activist also emphasized that the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) issued in 2015 a general recommendation addressed to all local Congresses to adapt their regulatory frameworks in the same sense, based on the premise that sexual orientation can not be a relevant criterion to differentiate access to marriage.

For his part, he said, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued in 2018 an advisory opinion that stated that the State has to recognize and guarantee this type of unions and that they should be mandatory in all the countries of the continent.

“They are three large documents that should be in the context of the discussion in Congress, are legal elements that the deputies have to take into account for equal marriages are approved in Yucatan,” said Rivas Lugo.

Recently, the president of the Legislative Government Board, Felipe Cervera Hernández, declared that in the second half of February he would begin the analysis of this initiative. He added that it is included in the second package of legislative proposals that is already in the Constitutional Points and Governance Commission.

That is to say, in a short time, the discussion about same-sex marriages in the state will finally start, which has not happened in the last three state legislatures where the issue was put on the table.

It is the same initiative that in August 2018 arrived at the local Congress, a few days after the LXI Legislature ended. It was sent by the then governor Rolando Zapata Bello, pressured by the recommendations issued by the federal administration with the request for Gender Violence Alert against Women in Yucatan.

This time the proposal was only turned into commissions without being distributed among the legislators, since the last regular session period had already ended. No extraordinary assembly was convened, there were two weeks of uncertainty and finally the initiative was never discussed.

“But now the time has come to analyze it, so we trust that the articles of the current Family Code that discriminate will be pushed back, because they point out that marriage can only be between a man and a woman,” Rivas Lugo said.

He recalled that Yucatan is the only entity on the Peninsula where this type of unions are not allowed, since in Campeche and Quintana Roo homosexual couples can get married without having to process a federal protection.

On this same subject, the lawyer of the Unit of Psychological, Sexological and Educational Attention for Personal Growth (Unasse), Amelia Ojeda Sosa, said that the fact that these couples have to request an amparo procedure is totally discriminatory.

“Of course it is, because heterosexual couples do not require a special process to access this right, they do not face these obstacles. Same-sex couples, on the other hand, run into barriers, because they have to invest time, legal resources and money to get married in Yucatán, “he lamented.

Despite the fact that the Yucatecan constitution does not allow these marriages, in the last five years approximately 90 same-sex couples have been able to marry in the entity, the great majority for protection against the denial of the Civil Registry and some for a collective appeal.

Source: hazruido

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