Same-sex marriage in Morelos
Same-sex marriage became legal in the Mexican state of Morelos on 5 July 2016. A bill to amend the state Constitution legalizing same-sex marriage passed the state Congress on 18 May 2016 by 20 votes to 6. Ratification by a majority of the state's 33 municipalities was confirmed on 27 June 2016. The law was published in the official state gazette on 4 July 2016 and same-sex marriages began being recognized in the state the following day.
In Morelos, bills concerning same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples were proposed by the Labor Party (PT) in January 2010. The proposal was rejected by PAN in February 2010. A subsequent proposal was also rejected in March 2013. On 30 July 2013, the Colectivo Equidad y Participación Comunitaria asked a federal court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage in Morelos. The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) announced in July 2014 that a vote on same-sex marriage would occur in September 2014. On 19 September 2014, civil society organizations including members of the Marcha de la Diversidad Sexual en Morelos launched impeachment procedures against the members of the Committee on Constitutional Issues for failure to follow Article 54 of the Internal Regulations of Congress. The impeachment proceeding indicated that the same-sex marriage initiative had been in committee for 20 months, but the committee is legally required to submit their recommendations and analysis on initiatives to the full Congress within 60 days.
On 27 July 2015, Governor Graco Ramírez presented an initiative to Congress to reform the Civil Code and the Constitution to permit same-sex marriage in the state. Governor Ramírez's proposal was to reform article 120 of the Constitution of Morelos and articles 22, 65 and 68 of the Family Code to bring them into line with the jurisprudence set forth by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation on 22 June, in which it ruled all Mexican bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
On 18 May 2016, the Congress of Morelos voted 20 to 6 to approve the constitutional change to legalize same-sex marriage. A constitutional change requires the ratification of at least 17 of the 33 municipalities in the state. The Government expected the ratification process to finish within a month. Governor Graco Ramírez welcomed the approval of the bill. The 33 municipalities had until 25 June 2016 to act on the constitutional change. If they did not act, then on 29 June the reform would be approved by "constructive assent" (silence from the authority with respect to a request, in this case, the reform from Congress). At the end of the process, a total of 17 municipalities had ratified the constitutional change and 15 had voted against ratification, while 1 municipality was awarded an extra week, although the clear majority being in favor meant that same-sex marriage would become legal in the state. The municipalities which voted in favor of the reform were Cuautla, Emiliano Zapata, Huitzilac, Jantetelco, Jiutepec, Puente de Ixtla, Temixco, Tetecala, Tlaquiltenango, Totolapan, Yautepec de Zaragoza and Yecapixtla. Additionally, the municipalities of Axochiapan, Cuernavaca, Mazatepec, Tepalcingo and Tlayacapan did not vote ("constructive assent"). The remaining municipalities voted against the change. The law was promulgated and published in the state's official gazette on 4 July 2016. It took effect on 5 July. The state adoption agency clarified that the law allows same-sex couples to adopt jointly; the adoption process is open to all spouses in Morelos.
On 29 August 2016, 17 municipalities in the state filed a constitutional challenge before the Mexican Supreme Court asking it to reverse the same-sex marriage reform. They argued that the Congress of Morelos acted illegally when it validated the reform. Two municipalities (Mazatepec and Tepalcingo) said that their vote was validated as "constructive assent", even though they voted against. The Supreme Court dismissed the challenge on 8 September.
Article 120 of the Constitution of Morelos now reads:
- El matrimonio es la unión voluntaria de dos personas, con igualdad de derechos y obligaciones, con el propósito de desarrollar una comunidad de vida y ayudarse mutuamente.
- (Marriage is the voluntary union of two people, with equal rights and obligations, with the purpose of developing a life in common and mutual assistance.)
On 28 August 2013, a same-sex couple applied to marry in Morelos through an amparo (injunction). In January 2014, the injunction was granted by a judge of the Second District in Morelos, who ordered the Civil Registry of Xochitepec to process the marriage application. The couple married on 17 May 2014. In January 2014, another same-sex couple began the process and in July were granted an injunction to marry. An appeal was launched, but after losing the appeal, the registrar performed the marriage ceremony for the first same-sex marriage in the town of Ciudad Ayala on 6 September 2014. Marquez Edgar Ortega, director of Atención a la Diversidad Sexual, announced at the wedding that six amparos had been requested in Morelos. On 29 October 2014, a lesbian couple from Cuernavaca were granted the right to divorce, after a court recognized their marriage.
From July 2016 to May 2017, 150 same-sex marriages were performed in Morelos.
A 2017 opinion poll conducted by Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica found that 51% of Morelos residents supported same-sex marriage. 45% were opposed.
According to a 2018 survey by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), 38.5% of the Morelos public opposed same-sex marriage.
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Morelos takes a fundamental step in the construction of a society of rights
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