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  HOME | Mexico

Mexican State’s Loosely Worded Law Allows 2 Gay Couples to Wed

CANCUN, Mexico – Two same-sex couples were able to get married in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo after finding a legal loophole in the region’s law that would permit it.

The two couples tied the knot Monday in the rural town of Kantunilkin, 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of the resort city of Cancun, one of the newlyweds, Maria Patricia Novelo, told Efe.

On Wednesday Novelo and Areli Castro Garcia de Alba, both natives of the Mexican capital, and Sergio Arturo Monje Cruz and Manuel Reyes Chale de la Fuente from the cities of Merida and Tabasco, respectively, were granted official marriage licenses.

Novelo said that they managed to wed thanks to a legal loophole in Quintana Roo’s Civil Law, which simply refers to “persons interested in contracting matrimony,” without specifying their sex.

“If it’s not prohibited, then it is permitted and it is legal,” she said.

“We were more than two months going through the procedures in different Quintana Roo Civil Registry Offices – in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Chetumal and elsewhere – and none would allow us to register,” she said.

According to Novelo, in none of those cities would authorities allow the couples to present their legal arguments.

But in Kantunilkin, Judge Maria Rosalia Balam Caamal and other members of the Civil Registry Office decided to give them the chance.

After an initial refusal, and after several days of analysis, “they finally told us that the marriage was possible and that they had no legal arguments to deny it,” she said.

In Mexico, same-sex marriages have been expressly authorized in Mexico City, where the municipal legislative assembly legalized them in March 2010.

Novelo said that another 10 couples were waiting for the case to be settled before beginning their own marriage procedures in Quintana Roo.

“This is all very positive. Besides the social part, there are many economic benefits because the gay community brings in between 45 and 60 percent more revenues than conventional tourism,” she said.

Quintana Roo, the site of Mexico’s leading beach resorts, could become a gay-friendly destination, Novelo said.

The two couples asked Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission, of CNDH, to make sure that Quintana Roo authorities take no reprisals against the judge and officials who authorized the marriage.

Novelo, Castro, Monje and Reyes are celebrating their wedlock at a party in Cancun on Dec. 10 to coincide with International Human Rights Day.

Joining in the festivities will be representatives of gay-rights groups including I Love Cancun Pride Parade, Fusion G, Agenda LGBT and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, who supported them throughout the legal process. EFE

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