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Mexican state of Colima allows same-sex civil unions ( Same-sex marriages have been legal in Mexico City for years, now Colima allows civil unions )

Colima has become the latest Mexican state to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions after a majority of local authorities passed a change in the state’s constitution.

Legalisation on same-sex unions falls under state legislation, and a number of states have divergent rules.

Mexico City and the southern state of Quintana Roo allow gay marriages, while Coahuila allows same-sex civil unions.

Congress in Yucatan on the other hand banned same-sex marriage in 2009.

Seven out of ten authorities in Colima approved the constitutional change, which had been passed by the state’s congress earlier this month.

Only two Congressmen voted against the change, arguing the state should legalise gay marriages rather than restricting same-sex couples to civil unions.

'More integration'

News of the change in the law in Colima came on the same day as Pope Francis told reporters that gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, the Pope reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

Gay marriage was legalised in Uruguay earlier this year, and in Argentina in 2010.

In Brazil, the Supreme Court in May voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexuals, effectively authorising gay marriage.

However, full legalisation of gay marriage in Brazil still depends on the passage of a law in Congress.

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTrights in Mexico

 Have expanded in recent years, in keeping with worldwide legal trends. The intellectual influence of the French Revolution and the brief French occupation of Mexico(1862–67) resulted in the adoption of the Napoleonic Code, which decriminalized same-sex sexual acts in 1871. Laws against public immorality or indecency, however, have been used to prosecute persons who engage in them.

Tolerance of sexual diversity in certain indigenous cultures is widespread, especially among Isthmus Zapotecs and Yucatán Mayas.

The age of consent, at which there are no age restrictions on consensual sexual activities (regardless of sexual orientation), is 18. Mexican states have a “primary” age of consent, which may be as low as 12. Sexual conduct with persons below that age is always illegal. Sexual relations between adults and teenagers are a legal gray area, with situational laws subject to interpretation.

As the influence of foreign and domestic cultures (especially from more cosmopolitan areas like Mexico City) grows throughout Mexico, attitudes are changing. This is most marked in the largest metropolitan areas, such as GuadalajaraMonterrey, and Tijuana, where education and access to foreigners and foreign news media are greatest. Change is slower in the hinterlands, however, and even in large cities discomfort with change often leads tobacklashes.

Since the early 1970s, influenced by the United States gay liberation movement and the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, a substantial number of LGBT organizations has emerged. Visible and well-attended LGBT marches andpride parades have occurred in Mexico City since 1979 and in Guadalajara since 1996.

Political and legal gains have been made through the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, leftist minor parties such as the Labor Party and Convergence, and the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party. They include the 2001 amendment to Article 1 of the Federal Constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, the 2003 federal anti-discrimination lawrecognition of same-sex civil unions in Mexico City and the state of Coahuila, and same-sex marriage in Mexico CityQuintana Roo, and generally in ColimaAdoption rights have been extended to same-sex couples in Mexico City and Coahuila.

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