18 May 2016
Over in Central America, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier this week proposed a constitutional reform that would legalize same-sex marriage across the Catholic dominated country.
Pena Nieto said he would send the landmark initiative to the Mexican Congress after the country's Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriage last year.
“I do this with the conviction that the Mexican state must prevent discrimination for any motive and ensure equal rights to all,” he said on the government’s website.
The Mexican leader also added rainbow colors to his pictures in his Facebook and Twitter accounts and met with representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on IDAHOT day.
Meanwhile, Mexico City has authorized gay and lesbian marriages since 2009 and three of the nation’s 31 states have followed suit. A fourth state, Campeche, has approved legislation that has yet to come into force.
Although the Supreme Court’s landmark “jurisprudence” does not oblige states to change their laws, it requires courts to rule in favor of same-sex couples whose marriages are rejected.
Pena Nieto presented another initiative requiring the foreign ministry’s passport office to accept birth certificates in which a person’s gender has been changed.
Constitutional reforms must be approved by a two-third majority of Congress, where Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party and its allies hold a majority. State legislatures must then approve the legislation before the president can sign it into law.
But, as usual conservative Christian institutions object to the Mexian President's initiatives with the Catholic Church leading the way.
The spokesman for the archdiocese of Mexico, which boasts the world’s second-largest Roman Catholic flock, said the Church “absolutely disagrees” with Pena Nieto’s initiative.
“We deeply regret that the president presented this initiative,” Hugo Valderama told AFP, adding that “It seems that the president obeys an international agenda of these homosexual lobbies.”