Despite Catholic Majority, Mexican President Seeks to Legalize Gay Marriage

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: May 18, 2016 10:30 AM
Despite Catholic Majority, Mexican President Seeks to Legalize Gay Marriage

When President Enrique Pena Neito’s Twitter account changed to include the colors of the rainbow, it indicated that Mexico is headed for gay marriage legalization. His social media account changed as he was speaking at an International Day Against Homophobia event.

Pena Nieto said he wants to change Article 4 of the constitution to clearly reflect the Supreme Court opinion "to recognize as a human right that people can enter into marriage without any kind of discrimination."

"That is, for marriages 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," he added.

Neito needs two-thirds of Congress to vote to amend the constitution for gay marriage to move forward.

Can his initiative succeed in a country that is majority Catholic? Yes, argues Andrew Chesnut, chairman of Catholic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Although 80 percent of Mexicans identify as Catholic, the church’s political influence is “eroding,” he says. No more than 20 percent practice the faith. 

Similarly, in America, where same-sex marriage was legalized after the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision last July, the majority of citizens still identify as Christian, yet religion appears to be on the decline.

Should Mexico legalize homosexual matrimony, it will join the United States and 22 other countries.