Northern state of Coahuila, Mexico approves same-sex partnerships

Troy Espera | Janury 15, 2007

Coahuila Gov. Humberto Moreira
PUERTO VALLARTA — The northern Mexican state of Coahuila voted 20–13 in favor of extending legal status to same-sex partnerships, becoming the second area in Mexico to adopt such a progressive policy.

Legislators in the mining and ranching region south of Texas approved the bill that gives same-sex partners greater rights than a similar law backed by Mexico City last November.

“It is more like a civil marriage,” said Silvia Solis, a gay rights activist in the capital, to Reuters. She said Coahuila would grant social security benefits to both members of a same-sex union, an important demand of gay campaigners.

The law was promoted by Coahuila's Institutional Revolutionary Party, which rules the state.

Coahuila Gov. Humberto Moreira, who is also in the PRI, is expected to sign the bill into law, reports the Associated Press.

That law has been sharply criticized by the Roman Catholic Church and the conservative National Action Party of President Felipe Calderon.

While homosexuality is still taboo in many rural parts of Latin America, the region's urban areas are becoming more socially liberal. Mexico City and Coahuila join the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires and the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul in legalizing same-sex civil unions.

At the national level, lawmakers in Costa Rica and Colombia have debated, but not passed, similar measures.

Coahuila once formed a state with Texas, which was part of Mexico before the United States annexed much of what is now the U.S. Southwest in the mid-19th century. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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