MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A congressional committee has voted against proceeding with a presidential proposal to legalize same-sex marriages throughout Mexico, reflecting a reticence among lawmakers to proceed on an issue against which Catholic and evangelical congregations have lobbied.
On Nov. 9, the Constitutional Points Committee in the lower house of Congress rejected the initiative, which would have changed the constitution to allow same-sex marriages in all of the country. Committee members argued it would violate the rights of states to set their own civil registry rules.
The National Front for the Family, the organizer of marches across the country against the president’s proposal, has delivered its own citizens’ initiative to the Senate, which would modify the constitution to limit marriage to heterosexual couples.
Eleven Mexican states currently allow same-sex couples to marry, though the supreme court established jurisprudence in 2015 permitting marriage for all couples, while not changing any state laws. Same-sex couples wanting to marry in many states must obtain an injunction — a routine, but burdensome process.
President Enrique Pena Nieto outlined a proposal in May to allow same-sex marriages in all states, while also including positive portrayals of such couples in educational materials.
The initiative sparked a backlash among conservatives, while Pena Nieto’s own Institutional Revolutionary Party has preferred not to touch the issue — a rare occurrence for the party, which traditionally obeys its president’s instructions and, in past years, portrayed itself as anti-clerical.
Catholic leaders have criticized the president’s proposals on same-sex marriage, but preferred laity lead the opposition. However, the Mexican bishops’ conference and Pope Francis have endorsed the dozens of pro-family protest marches held in September.
Amid the activism, comments on same-sex marriage from the new apostolic nuncio to Mexico appear to suggest the Vatican would prefer a less-confrontational approach.
“Mexicans, rather than confronting each other, making proclamations or marching, have to sit down at the table and talk to each other,” Archbishop Franco Coppola told reporters Nov. 7 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “It is something that involves the constitution, and when we are speaking of the constitution, the constitution has to become something that all Mexicans, or at least a great majority of Mexicans, can share.”
Some media, such as the Spanish newspaper El Pais, interpreted the remarks as the Vatican “de-authorizing the anti-gay marches.”
National Front for the Family spokesman Rodrigo Ivan Cortes said the coverage was a mischaracterization of the nuncio’s comments and that the march organizers have always been open to dialogue.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103