Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced steps to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico before congress yesterday.
In June 2015, Mexican Supreme Court had ruled that it was unconstitutional for states to ban gay marriage. However, the court's verdict does not nullify state laws, implying that same-sex couples who are denied the right to marry have to file individual injunctions.
Though the court legalized the gay marriage in Mexico, but without legislative change, officials still have to follow state constitutions.
At present, four Latin American countries recognize same-sex marriages, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay. If the legislative measure initiated by President is approved, Mexico will become the fifth country to approve gay marriage.
"Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, I met the representatives of LGBT groups. I listened to their ideas and proposals," Pena Nieto posted in Spanish on Twitter, with a photo showing a government building shining in rainbow colors. "I reiterated the Mexican government's commitment to combat all forms of discrimination, including those motivated by sexual preference."
Speaking at an event on the International Day Against Homophobia, Nieto disclosed that he had already signed some initiatives that would amend Article 4 of the constitution, which at present guarantees equality of men and women.
The article will be extended to include a marriage clause which would state that "marriages [are] to be carried out without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or nationality, of disabilities, of social or health conditions, of religion, of gender or sexual preference."
In Mexico, about 82 percent of the population identifies with Catholicism, but only 15-20 percent practice their faith regularly according to Andrew Chesnut, chairman of Catholic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. About 8 percent people adhere to Protestants, Pentecostals, evangelicals, and other Christian groups.