Coahuila on Monday became the first Mexican state to formally approve gay marriage through its legislature.
Lawmakers approved 40 changes to the state’s civil code that will extend all marital rights to gay couples, including adoption and social security.
The changes were passed by 19 votes to three and could come into effect as early as next week.
Leftist congressman Samuel Acevedo, who proposed the changes in March, told journalists the change was ‘a great step forward.’
He said, ‘What’s important is that we changed the traditional system of marriage.’ The definition of marriage has been changed from ‘a union between a man and a woman with the aim of procreation’ to ‘a union between two people with the possibility of procreation or adoption.’
Acevedo said he faced opposition from conservative groups, including the Catholic church.
'The way the law worked before, it infringed on the rights of homosexual people and now they will get their rights … everything which comes with marriage,' he said.
The governor of Coahuila also backed the vote and congratulated the state congress on Twitter.
Coahuila was also the first state to legalize civil unions for gay couples in 2007.
Gay marriage laws in Mexico fall under state leglisation. Mexico City, which is not a state, legalized gay marriage in 2009 and gay marriages have been taking place in Quintana Roo state, where the civil code is gender neutral.
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