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Puebla Congress approves legalizing equal marriage

The state Congress of Puebla, an entity in the center of the country, on Tuesday recognized equal marriage with 31 votes in favor, five against and three abstentions.

“The LX Legislature approves, by majority vote, various reforms to the Civil Code for the state of Puebla, with which equal marriage is recognized,” Congress announced in a newsletter.

With Puebla, there are 20 out of 32 states in Mexico that have adapted their laws or implemented actions to allow same-sex marriage without the need for protection.

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SJCN) declared in 2015 unconstitutional the state civil codes that prevent same-sex marriages, but there are still state congresses that resist reforming their laws.

The vote in the Congress of Puebla, a state with more than six million inhabitants, surprised by the historic resistance shown by the Catholic Church and politicians such as the right-wing National Action Party (PAN).

“Today is an important day for the only possible future with human rights, history and our reality offer to repair the long journey of indolence, discrimination and penalties,” said Deputy Estefanía Rodríguez, president of the Human Rights Commission.

The vote, which took place virtually, aroused the national attention of activists in favor of the rights of the LGBT community and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

“Congratulations to all the people who have achieved it throughout all these years! In Puebla, equal marriage is a reality today. We are going for what follows, that the road is long and life is short,” said the Observatory Citizen of Sexual and Reproductive Rights.

The Government of Puebla, which controls the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, promised to abide by the reform of Congress and the ruling of the Supreme Court.

“In this government of the ‘fourth transformation’ we will continue promoting the rights of the people of Puebla,” said David Méndez, Secretary of the Interior of Puebla.

But in other states, the leftist Morena has been reluctant to recognize this right, as in northern Baja California, where activists have demonstrated in recent months against local deputies.

LGBT organizations also filed an appeal with the SCJN against the Congress of Yucatán, in the southeast of the country, for not approving equal marriage during a secret vote.