SALTILLO, Coahuila, Mexico — The Congress of the Mexican state of Coahuila has voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
The congress on Monday voted 19-1 to alter more than 40 parts of the state’s civil code to make marriage gender neutral, making Coahuila the first state in Mexico to legalize same-sex marriage through its state legislature.
The law takes effect in one week, at which time same-sex couples will be “entitled to all the benefits that civil marriage means,” according to Deputy Ricardo López Campos, coordinator of committees of the Interior, Justice and Constitutional Issues.
State lawmaker Samuel Acevedo said Tuesday he presented the bill that was voted into law because he wants gay couples to have the same rights of straight couples.
The state of Coahuila on the border with Texas began allowing same-sex civil unions in 2007. Acevedo said the marriage law approved on Monday will help “fight discrimination.”
Gov. Rubén Moreira Valdez welcomed the adoption of the marriage equality law, congratulating lawmakers for passing the the measure “by a majority, with sensitivity, tolerance and respect for human rights,” reports Excelsior.
Same-sex marriage is also legal in Mexico’s Federal District (Mexico City) and in the state of Quintana Roo, where the secretary of state determined in 2012 that the state’s civil code was also gender neutral.
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that legally performed same-sex marriages must be recognized in all 31 states throughout the country, though the ruling did not require states to allow same-sex marriages to be performed within their jurisdiction.