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Lawmakers in Two Mexican States Approve Marriage Equality Reforms

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Lawmakers in two Mexican states have passed reforms removing bans on marriage equality.

On Tuesday, the Mexican state of Sinaloa approved the removal of language from their laws which effectively banned marriage equality and same-sex cohabitation. The reforms to the local Family Code passed on a unanimous vote, albeit with 17 abstentions, and now goes to the governor for final ratification. A similar marriage equality reform measure was passed Wednesday in the state of Baja California, but changes to the local Civil Code must now be approved by three of the five local governments within the state. The Mexican Supreme Court found laws banning marriage equality were unconstitutional in 2015, but nearly a third of the country's states have refused to reform their laws to comply with the ruling.

"The happiness of...each one of the citizens consists of freedom, security, and equality...there should be no second category citizens," Francisca Abello, a lawmaker and the president of the Equity Commission, Gender, and Family, told local news teleSUR.

"Great news for same-sex couples, who deserve for their relationships to be recognized just like everyone else," tweeted Cristian González Cabrera, a researcher specializing in Latin American and Caribbean issues at Human Rights Watch.

According to a report in the Puerto Vallarta Daily News, lawmakers in Sinaloa voted unanimously in favor of the reform measures to articles 40 and 165 of the state’s Family Code. The code had previously banned marriage equality and same-sex cohabitation. The measure passed unanimously with 23 votes, but 17 lawmakers abstained from casting a vote. The reforms must now be approved by the governor.

Meanwhile, legislators in the state of Baja California approved similar reforms on the third attempt. Lawmakers had tried unsuccessfully to pass their reform bill twice before in 2020 and 2019. The new bill removes language specifically defining marriage or union as limited to between a man and a woman. The bill must now be passed by at least three of the state's five local governments.

"It’s clear that people in Baja are not opposed to this," Juan Manuel Molina told KYMA News. Molina is a delegate to the leftist MORENA, or National Regeneration Movement party, which advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and other causes.

Both measures were passed to bring their states into compliance with a 2015 ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court which found that laws banning marriage equality were unconstitutional. Despite the ruling, many states have refused to comply.

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