Sinaloa lawmakers voted Tuesday against a measure that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state with 20 votes against and 18 in favor.
Most of the yes votes came from the ruling Morena party, which holds 23 of the 40 seats in the Sinaloa Congress. But six defectors from Morena, along with deputies from the other parties, were able to block passage of the bill.
Catholic Church groups that were on hand for the vote celebrated the outcome, while LGBT groups expressed their anger, at one point breaking down an access door to the state legislature.
Morena Deputy Francisca Abelló criticized the opposition for voting against the bill.
“Those of us who talk about a secular state, the essence of the Mexican constitution, and the Mexican state itself, should ask ourselves, should the state impose administrative and legal regulations on the private lives of individuals?” she said.
PRI Deputy Elva Margarita Inzunza Valenzuela said she was voting against the bill because legalizing same-sex marriage would represent an attack on the family, and that she fears same-sex couples will be able to adopt children in the future.
“This would create an atrocious and uncertain future for our society,” she said. “We cannot accept the questioning of the concept of family, understood as being between a man and a woman. The family is the natural base.”
Legislation allowing same-sex marriage currently exists in 15 states and Mexico City. At least 10 of those states also allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí are the most recent states to have legalized same-sex marriage, while lawmakers in Yucatán recently voted down a proposal to do the same.
A 2015 ruling by the Supreme Court found that state laws against same-sex unions were unconstitutional, and recommended that such laws be changed. However, same-sex couples in the 12 states where same-sex unions are banned must still appeal to federal courts to be able to get married.