On August 27th, the local Congress of Oaxaca approved a reform of the Civil Code to legalize marriage and cohabitation between same-sex couples with 25 votes in favor and 10 votes against, while several deputies of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA in its Spanish acronym) abstained or were absent during the vote.
This makes Oaxaca the nineteenth state that introduces marriage equality in its legislation. In addition to Mexico City, the states of Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Campeche, Colima, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Quintana Roo and San Luis Potosí recognize this, while in Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, and Puebla same-sex couples need validation from the Court if they want to get married.
Until now, Article 143 of the Oaxaca Civil Code defined marriage as “one man and one woman” which aims to “perpetuate the species.” Now the reformed article says that, “marriage is the civil contract between two people, who come together to live a common life and provide respect, equality and mutual help.”
There had already been attempts to enable same-sex marriages before that reform. In August 2011, the requests of three homosexual couples were denied by the Civil Registry of Oaxaca, but in April of the following year, with the support of the civil organization Equaity Mexico (Mexico Igualitario), one of them achieved for the first time in all of Mexico a sentence allowing their marriage by court order without having to reform the constitution. Antonio Medina, national director of Sexual Diversity of the Aztec Sun (Diversidad Sexual del Sol Azteca) stressed that the reform of the Civil Code “was the result of the hard work of civil organizations that for several years did not stop insisting on achieving this goal.”
While the LGBTTTIQ + Oaxaqa community is celebrating the reform presented by deputies Hilda Perez Luis, Magaly Lopez Dominguez and deputy Noe Doroteo Castillejos as a great achievement, the State Confraternity of Christian Evangelical Pastors expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision. On the day of the vote, members of the evangelical community protested in front of Congress and demanded that the initiative be rejected.
Despite the protests, Alex Ali Mendez Diaz, president of the Equal Mexico organization, announced: “we will continue to fight for other rights that are still necessary to achieve the eradication of discrimination based on sex, sexual preference, among others.”
For more information in Spanish:
Oaxaca da luz verde al matrimonio igualitario (Proceso el 28 de agosto de 2019)
Aprueban en Oaxaca matrimonio igualitario; protestan evangélicos (La Jornada el 29 de agosto de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: alto a la violencia homofóbica (May 17th, 2018)
National: Senate Agrees to Guarantee Equal Rights to Same-Sex Couples (November 12, 2018)
Nacional: Aprueba Senado garantizar igualdad de derechos para las parejas del mismo sexo (7 de noviembre de 2018)
Oaxaca: Mujer transgénero recibe su credencial de elector de una representación del INE (8 de agosto de 2017)