Supporters of the bill with a rainbow banner outside the legislature on Wednesday. Supporters of the bill with a rainbow banner outside the legislature on Wednesday.

Yucatán Congress says yes to same-sex marriage

It was third time that state lawmakers have voted on the issue

The Congress of Yucatán approved same-sex marriage on Wednesday with 20 of 25 lawmakers voting in favor of the bill.

Same-sex couples can now legally marry in 22 of Mexico’s 32 states. The approval in Yucatán came two months after the legislatures of Baja California and Sinaloa voted in favor of marriage equality.

The bill, put forward by independent Deputy Milagros Romero, modifies article 94 of the Yucatán constitution that previously stated that marriage was an exclusive institution between a man and a woman.

Marriage is now defined as a “free and voluntary legal union of two people with equal rights, duties and obligations.”

The Congress previously rejected same-sex marriage on two occasions. Those votes were held in secret, triggering legal action. The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the plaintiffs – activist groups and others – and ordered the Congress to hold a new vote.

“Almost three years of constant struggle went by but the final result is for all Yucatán citizens who were discriminated against,” said Silvia López Escoffié, an independent deputy. “We’re very satisfied.”

Two Institutional Revolutionary Party deputies and three with the conservative National Action Party, which holds power in Yucatán, voted against the bill. Governor Mauricio Vila expressed his support for the decision.

“The decision the Yucatán Congress took today is the fruit of our democracy and that makes us stronger as a society,” he wrote on Twitter. “I call on everyone to respect each other and work together. We are always stronger together.”

The Yucatán Congress also voted unanimously in favor of prison sentences of up to three years for anyone offering sexual orientation conversion therapy treatment. Anyone conducting conversion therapy with minors can be incarcerated for double that length of time.

With reports from Milenio and El País

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