Mexico City approves civil unions

Six years after it was first introduced, a bill allowing same sex civil unions in Mexico’s Federal District (DF, Mexico City) was approved by the Federal District Legislative Assembly (ALDF) by a vote of 43 to 17, with five abstentions. Thirty-three deputies from the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) voted for the measure, and one abstained, while 16 of the 17 deputies from the center-right National Action Party (PAN) voted against it; most deputies from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and smaller parties abstained or backed the law. Human rights and lesbian-gay rights groups had repeatedly criticized the PRD, which has ruled the DF since 1997, for failing to get the law passed.

The law creates “civil unions” as a legal category constituted when two people–of the same sex or different sexes–establish a common household. The partners will have mutual rights and obligations, including the right to inherit and to receive a pension if one partner dies. This is the first civil union law passed in Mexico, and PRD president Leonel Cota predicted that its passage will make it easier for other local legislatures to enact similar laws. (La Jornada, Nov. 19, 11; El Diario-La Prensa, NY, Nov. 10 from AP)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Nov. 23

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