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Mexico City Approves Gay Marriage
December 22, 2009 1:31 PM   Subscribe

In a first for Latin America, Mexico City's legislature voted to legalize gay marriage Monday night, changing "the city's civil code definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman to the 'free uniting of two people.'"

Mexico City's mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, is expected to sign the bill into law.
posted by SpringAquifer (51 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
¡Olé!
posted by Kattullus at 1:33 PM on December 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Can Mexico's federal government override this decision? If it can, will it?
posted by Electrius at 1:33 PM on December 22, 2009


I'm not gay, but this just resolves my strong, strong feelings of love for Mexico. I can't wait to retire there some day.
posted by Bageena at 1:34 PM on December 22, 2009


I've been wondering for a while what would prevent a US "home rule" city from enacting a similar law.
posted by enn at 1:36 PM on December 22, 2009


I've been wondering for a while what would prevent a US "home rule" city from enacting a similar law.

Well, D.C. is a home rule city and they just passed a gay marriage bill. Unless Congress tries to overturn it, I guess the answer is "nothing".
posted by wildcrdj at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2009


I've always heard Mexico City was a cool town.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2009


Now the Minutemen will have to guard America's borders against Teh Gay Menace, too.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Another step forward as the long march continues.
posted by darkstar at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, as soon as I posted that I realized I should have clarified — I meant a city granted home rule powers by the state in which it is located (in states which don't recognize gay marriage), not by the federal government.
posted by enn at 1:40 PM on December 22, 2009


Nice going NYS Senate. You were just pwned by Mexico City!
posted by mikelieman at 1:41 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"They have given Mexicans the most bitter Christmas," Armando Martínez, the president of the College of Catholic Attorneys, told reporters. "They are permitting adoption [by gay couples] and in one stroke of the pen have erased the term 'mother' and 'father'. "

Wow. Gay marriage means you have to refer to your parents as "parent" rather than "mom" or "dad"? I did not know that.
posted by explosion at 1:43 PM on December 22, 2009


"They have given Mexicans the most bitter Christmas," Armando Martínez, the president of the College of Catholic Attorneys, told reporters. "They are permitting adoption [by gay couples] and in one stroke of the pen have erased the term 'mother' and 'father'. "

I don't think you mean "Mexicans," as there are, after all, gay and lesbian Mexicans. I think you mean "homophobes."
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:48 PM on December 22, 2009 [20 favorites]


I will say this about the Aughts: while a lot of the first decade of this century has sucked pretty bad, we've seen some dramatic improvements around the world in terms of gay rights.

I wish things were progressing faster, but seeing what has happened in recent years in the US and in other countries does give me hope for the future.
posted by darkstar at 1:53 PM on December 22, 2009


Wow. Gay marriage means you have to refer to your parents as "parent" rather than "mom" or "dad"? I did not know that.

Does a non-gendered word for "parent" even exist in Spanish?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:54 PM on December 22, 2009


Uré!
posted by ORthey at 1:54 PM on December 22, 2009


Does a non-gendered word for "parent" even exist in Spanish?

Padre?
posted by kylej at 1:58 PM on December 22, 2009


whooooooo!
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 1:59 PM on December 22, 2009


Padre?
posted by kylej at 1:58 PM on December 22 [+] [!]


Pretty gendered still, since it means father...

Viva Mexico!
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:10 PM on December 22, 2009


Marriage, a "free uniting"?

Someone's obviously never been married.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:12 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


AP video report.
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on December 22, 2009


Nothing is a nicer Christmas present than ruining Christmas for homophobes.
posted by fuq at 2:15 PM on December 22, 2009 [24 favorites]


Does a non-gendered word for "parent" even exist in Spanish?

No.
posted by gurple at 2:22 PM on December 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Mexico City legalized civil unions three years ago. The first civil union ceremony was between Antonio Medina and Jorge Cerpa in March 2007. The move forward to 'marriage' is wonderful.

BTW -- the northern state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, began registering civil unions in January 2007.
posted by ericb at 2:22 PM on December 22, 2009


This morning I got a call from a friend who's been like a sister to me since we were both 12. She proposed to her girlfriend last night and they plan to get married in 2011 in Mass (where, conveniently, I live). I am so fucking excited for them it's ridiculous. So I hope that with this news, millions of Mexicans have been getting similar happy calls this week!
posted by olinerd at 2:25 PM on December 22, 2009


I think it's a bit much to expect your friend to call millions of Mexicans.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:31 PM on December 22, 2009 [13 favorites]


the 'free uniting of two people.'

Okay, but why only two? Seriously.
posted by oncogenesis at 2:32 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Wilfully minsunderstanding basic English for the sake of comedy since 1999.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:34 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can Mexico's federal government override this decision? If it can, will it?


I've seen several articles that say something like "Members of Mexican President Felipe Calderón's National Action Party (PAN) have said they will fight the measure in court" (Source). But nothing that says the federal government can over-rule it. Anyone else know?

(There's more good news in the original article: it mentions promising developments in other Latin American countries, and a general decline in negative attitudes towards homosexuals).
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:35 PM on December 22, 2009


The civils unions thing was kind of a big deal in the media here when it was first approved, but you hardly hear anyone talking about it now. I suspect marriage will be the same. I'm kind of happy there isn't enough concentrated outrage or professional outrage organizations here to keep it in the media and controversial for too long.

It's surprising, though, given the many strong right-wing Catholic organizations here, and the media's undying thirst for controversy and news that confirm their prejudice, but I guess there's a limit too how long they can milk it. And there hasn't been much harping on the whole "sanctity of marriage" thing here. Most people seem to not care too much, which I think is a much preferable attitude.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:37 PM on December 22, 2009


oncogenesis: "the 'free uniting of two people.'

Okay, but why only two? Seriously.
"

And why only people? Sheesh, I mean, ... (I kid, I'm totally pro-poly if people want, but the beastie? eh, not so much )
posted by symbioid at 2:41 PM on December 22, 2009


Everybody's all like, oh man, now what, polygamy.

I never understand that. Yes. Polygamy. As long as it's between consenting adults, why not? Fuck you and your vanilla marriages, me and my freaky gang want to make our communal love legal, and we're more than happy to move to Mexico if we have to.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:43 PM on December 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


And why only people? Sheesh, I mean, ... (I kid, I'm totally pro-poly if people want, but the beastie? eh, not so much )

Because it's hard for animals to consent. Otherwise, no argument from me.

I actually think it's probably possible for animals to consent to sex with humans, but I'm having a pretty big problem seeing how they could consent to, or even understand, marriage. Also, what rights would marrying an animal bestow upon the two of you?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:46 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does a non-gendered word for "parent" even exist in Spanish?

No.


Esto is neuter (non-gendered.)

Also, padre refers to either parent: "tenemos, cada uno, dos padres."
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 2:49 PM on December 22, 2009


And why only people? Sheesh, I mean, ... (I kid, I'm totally pro-poly if people want, but the beastie? eh, not so much )

Because it's hard for animals to consent. Otherwise, no argument from me.

I actually think it's probably possible for animals to consent to sex with humans, but I'm having a pretty big problem seeing how they could consent to, or even understand, marriage. Also, what rights would marrying an animal bestow upon the two of you?


Actually, I think the reason the argument against gay marriage always turns to people marrying animals has more to do with the dishumanization of gays for the sake of argument than any serious interest in cross-species marriage. It was very common during Nazi Germany to refer to Jews as dogs or other non-human words, even to depict them in propaganda art as some kind of perverse half-human, half-animal figure in order to keep them in the role of the others. The insistence that gay marriage will lead to men marrying their pets is part and parcel of that same phenomenon, and basically equates a consenting same-sex couple with non-human animals.
posted by hippybear at 2:59 PM on December 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


"the 'free uniting of two people.'

Okay, but why only two? Seriously."


If it's any consolation, the lucky same-sex couple will be picked at random by the state lottery later this week.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:00 PM on December 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also, padre refers to either parent: "tenemos, cada uno, dos padres."

If it's pluralized, that is.
posted by The World Famous at 3:00 PM on December 22, 2009


I've been grinning like I'm stoned since I found out. Gay marriage, decriminalized personal quantities of drugs (specifically mentioning Peyote and Ololiuqui!), and they have better tacos and burritos! WTF am I doing in San Francisco still? Arriba el defectuoso!

The bad guys in this story are the Catholic Church (except possibly the Liberation Theology dudes in the south), the PRI (the party that ruled for decades) and the PAN (the openly Catholic party that dethroned the PRI just to give us an even worse government), who are trying to challenge this on constitutional grounds and pressing for a veto and a referendum.

The good guys are mostly from the PRD, the party most to the left (Partido de la Revolución Democrática). For what it's worth, the PRD was founded by leftits members of the PRI and incorporated the Unified Socialist Party of Mexico, the Mexican Comunist Party and the Mexican Workers Party, in 1989.

One of the founders of the PRD, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, is the son of Lázaro Cárdenas, the Mexican president who abolished capital punishment, tries to support the Republicans against the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War (tried, because his efforts were thwarted by the Roosevelt administration), gave asylum to tens of thousands of Spaniards persecuted by franco after the war, invited Trotsky to Mexico, and expropriated Mexican oil from Dutch, British and American companies, and who did many other progressive theta would merit their own FPP.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that the heroes here are SOCIALISTS AND GAYS!, and the villains are the Church and the powerful. What a surprise.
posted by dirty lies at 3:11 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Never really thought of Mexico as more progressive than the United States before, but hey, there ya go.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:14 PM on December 22, 2009


I guess what I am trying to get at is that the heroes here are SOCIALISTS AND GAYS!, and the villains are the Church and the powerful. What a surprise.

Indeed. Same as it ever was. I'm no fan of totalitarians of whatever stripe, left or right, but on the whole, the Commies were slightly more socially equitable than the Fascists - and gays specifically fared a lot worse under the Nazis (though the Soviet Union was no picnic for gay people). But those are the extremes.

Apart from the extremes, the Left has always been more socially progressive than the Right - indeed, that's kind of where the DNA of those movements expresses itself. The Right, and especially the reactionary right are forever about constricting freedom and enforcing control and maintaining inequality, which is why I always found it so comical when you hear the Right in the U.S. claim the mantle of "Freedom & Liberty" and getting the government out of your private life, because in practice it is the exact opposite - they love mandating for consenting adults how to behave in the bedroom.

Every time the Right rises anywhere, freedom and personal liberty suffer. It's good to see what's happening in Mexico with gay rights at the moment, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the Right is always counterattacking.
posted by VikingSword at 3:53 PM on December 22, 2009


Also, padre refers to either parent: "tenemos, cada uno, dos padres."

If it's pluralized, that is.


if it's pluralized and at least one is male, even if the other 15 million are female.
posted by toodleydoodley at 3:54 PM on December 22, 2009


Also, padre refers to either parent: "tenemos, cada uno, dos padres."

If it's pluralized, that is.

if it's pluralized and at least one is male, even if the other 15 million are female.


I don't follow you. What do you mean "even if the other 15 million are female?"
posted by The World Famous at 3:59 PM on December 22, 2009


My mother was able to get a divorce from her first husband in Mexico. (Although it was possible to get divorced in the States in the middle of the twentieth century, long residency periods were required and she couldn't be away from her children for that long.) As it allowed her to have a very happy second marriage that produced me and provided for a wonderful home life for all of her children, I am grateful for this. I suppose that this was an earlier example of Mexico being more progressive than its northern neighbor on marriage-related matters.
posted by Morrigan at 4:03 PM on December 22, 2009


dirty lies: Pretty much, although the PRI isn't as much the bad guys (in this case) as you might think. I think their representatives ended up either voting against gay marriage or abstaining in this case, but they were for civil unions a couple of years ago, and I think at least substantial numbers of them are for gay marriage (as I understood it, the problem they had with the current proposal wasn't so much the marriage part as the adoption part).

So, the PRI is hardly perfect, and are indeed pretty horrible in many areas, but they're not at all as bad as the PAN in this case.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:05 PM on December 22, 2009


The World Famous:

In SPanish the rule is that if you are talking about a group with members of different genders, you use the masculine.

For example:
2 male politicians: Los políticos.
2 female politicians: Las políticas.
1 male and 1 female politicians: Los políticos.
15 million female and one male politicians: Los políticos.
posted by dirty lies at 4:14 PM on December 22, 2009


I never understand that. Yes. Polygamy. As long as it's between consenting adults, why not?

Well, in the context of civil marriage there's been a long evolution of exactly what rights, responsibilities, and privileges marriage confers upon the couple, both as between the partners and as between the partners and the state. Translating those rights, responsibilities, and privileges to a polygamous marriage is not entirely straightforward. Some aspects, such as the right to hospital visitation, are simple. Other aspects, such as tax benefits, intestate inheritance, child support, child visitation rights, etc are much, much less clear.

So, this is not to say it can't be done or shouldn't be done, just that it's much more complicated than same-sex marriage.
posted by jedicus at 4:20 PM on December 22, 2009


In SPanish the rule is that if you are talking about a group with members of different genders, you use the masculine.

Yes, I understand that. I speak somewhat passable Spanish and I understand the grammar fairly well. What I didn't get was your reference to 15 million female parents and one male one. I see now that it was just an illustration of the linguistic convention, and not a reference to 15 million actual people. Thanks.
posted by The World Famous at 4:27 PM on December 22, 2009


Un gran abrazo Mexico City, good fuckin' work.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:30 PM on December 22, 2009


I'm no fan of totalitarians of whatever stripe, left or right, but on the whole, the Commies were slightly more socially equitable than the Fascists - and gays specifically fared a lot worse under the Nazis (though the Soviet Union was no picnic for gay people).

I was curious about this, so I did a few quick internet searches. Here's something I found:

The first convicted homosexual to come out was the Leningrad poet Gennady Trifonov. In December 1977, he sent the following open letter to Literaturnaya Gazeta from Camp No 398/38 in the western Urals:

“I have experienced every possible nightmare and horror; it is impossible to get used to it. Over a period of 18 months I have seen daily what it is to be a convicted homosexual in a Soviet camp. The position of gays in the death camps of the Third Reich was nothing compared to this. They had a clear prospect for the future-the gas chamber. We lead a half-animal existence, condemned to die of hunger, nursing secret dreams of contracting some deadly disease for a few days peace in a bunk in sickbay.

“I know people who have either forgotten the end of their prison term, or who have not managed physically to survive that long. Their bodies were taken off the electric wire; they were found hanging in prison cells, tortured to death by prisoners in bestial mood or beaten by guards, mad. I know their names; I have access to the written evidence of witnesses. In a year and a half of this hell I have carefully studied 22 convictions for homosexuality in the USSR. If this information reaches the West, I will be accused of slander and physically liquidated. It won't take much. They will set a group of convicts who have lost all semblance of humanity against me and certify my death ‘in the natural way’.”

posted by esprit de l'escalier at 5:07 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


AstroZombie I never understand that. Yes. Polygamy. As long as it's between consenting adults, why not? Fuck you and your vanilla marriages, me and my freaky gang want to make our communal love legal, and we're more than happy to move to Mexico if we have to.

This is a problem I have with both pro- and anti- gay marriage activists. Marriage is only a little bit about sex, and maybe a bit more about love, and a fairly large part about a stable environment for childraising, but all the rest is about property rights, and legal powers exercised on the spouse's (and spouse's children's) behalf. Yet it's the sex that gets the press.

There are several people in my life, close friends of mine, that I would trust to do everything on my behalf that a spouse would legally be able to do: visit me in hospital and decide if my ventilator should be turned off, sign me up to property leases, sell my stuff, enrol my child (not that I have any, but in theory) in school, collect my child from school and take the child to the doctor and discuss his/her medical needs with the doctor, etc. I have no interest in sex with any of them.

My current closest-thing-to-a-girlfriend, I care deeply about, probably love, but don't (yet) trust to exercise those rights and powers over me to the same extent. I think she'd try to do right by me, but honestly it's too soon, and she doesn't know me that well. Our sexual relationship, while very good and predating our friendship by a few days, is not yet exclusive. Yet the default cultural assumption is that she, rather than my male (and married to a woman) housemate, my closest friend, would be the one most bereaved in the event of my death. Just by virtue of the fact that I, whenever possible, share a bed with her. I'm not saying she wouldn't miss me, and grieve for me, and be somewhat inconvenienced in some of her plans, but most of the pieces of my ended life would be picked up by others, not her.

Sex isn't about marriage, and marriage isn't about sex.

It's great that Mexico City has done this, it's fantastic progress, but for me the issue comes back to the analogy of "civil union" as one's date-of-birth or age, "marriage" as one;s birthday party. I want people to be able to assign their packages of legal rights and responsibilities to any appropriate person(s), without regard to the assumption of a sexual relationship - even in situations, such as parent-child, where a sexual relationship would be unethical or even illegal.

However in the interim, gay people should be allowed to marry for the same reason old people, and voluntarily or naturally infertile people, are allowed to marry: it's a cultural ritual, even a pan-cultural, even a human ritual of joining and belonging. That some of the purposes of marriage with regard to mutual children of a couple aren't going to be fulfilled (although adoption is an option for all three naturally-childless couple types, and that even further leans towards the necessity of legal gay marriage) is no reason to deny the couple their fulfillment of the rest of marriage's purposes, and even more so, to deny them participation in that ritual.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:51 PM on December 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've been wondering for a while what would prevent a US "home rule" city from enacting a similar law.

Home rule enabling legislation in the US generally specifies what sorts of things the city can modify and in any case a city could not override a state constitution. Around 30 state constitutions ban it outright.
posted by dhartung at 8:24 PM on December 22, 2009


Never really thought of Mexico as more progressive than the United States before, but hey, there ya go.

I'm not sure how this conclusion follows. It's legal in one city there, it's legal in multiple states here. It's been legal in Massachusetts for 5 years now.
posted by explosion at 4:19 AM on December 23, 2009


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