Mexico: Morelos Approves Same-sex Marriage Bill

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Morelos becomes the next Mexican state to approve a same-sex marriage bill today when their Congress voted 20-6 in favor of modifying the state constitution to make marriage gender-neutral.

As the proposal is a state constitutional change, it must be ratified by Morelos’ 33 municipalities before it can become law and allow same-sex couples to marry.

Morelos will join Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Quintana Roo as places in the country that have given the green light to same-sex marriage.

For all other states, couples must file an injunction that Civil Registries will respect. The injunctions take time and are expensive even though they are always successful.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Mexico: Michoacán Becomes 9th State to Approve Same-sex Marriage

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Michoacán’s Congress voted 27-0 with 8 abstentions today to update their Family Code and make marriage gender-neutral.

For months, members from all the parties in Congress told the press that the law was unstoppable and the right thing to do as both an order from the Supreme Court and as a rights issue.

After a judge last year gave the previous Congress a deadline to pass a marriage bill, the Legislature asked for more time and passed a domestic partnership law instead.

The Mexican Supreme Court already ruled that separate but equal was discriminatory and unconstitutional so activists filed a lawsuit shortly after the passage of the partnership law.

The threat of Supreme Court action and a new seemingly friendlier make up of Congress increased pressure on the state to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

The law will come into effect after it is promulgated and printed in the state’s Official Gazette.

Michoacan is the 9th region to give same-sex couples the green light after Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Chihuahua, Coahuila, most municipalities in Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Quintana Roo and Sonora.

For all other states, couples who wish to marry can file an injunction that the Civil Registry must repect, but the process is timely and expensive.

Marriages conducted in Mexico are recognized on both a state level and a federal level.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Swiss Parliament Approves Stepchild Adoption Bill

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Last week, Switzerland’s stepchild adoption bill was approved in its final vote in the Legislature.

Stepchild adoption, the right of a person to adopt their partner’s biological child, will be granted to non-married couples regardless of gender if the bill becomes law.

The bill was passed by large majorities in both chambers of Swiss Parliament.

In March, Switzerland’s upper house, the Council of States, approved the adoption reform by a 25-14 vote while the lower house, the National Council, approved the bill on a vote of 113-64 last Saturday.

According to the Wikipedia page following LGBT progress in Switzerland, opponents of the bill may still force a referendum under Swiss law if they collect 50,000 signatures within 100 days. Failure to do so will result in the adoption bill becoming law.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in Switzerland, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Switzerland

Italy Approves Civil Unions Bill

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Italy approved its civil union legislation on Wednesday by a vote of 372-51 with 99 abstentions.

Italy is the last major Western European nation with no law recognizing same-sex couples.

The Civil Unions bill first arrived in the Senate in February with fierce debates causing it to be watered down. The most controversial clause of the bill that would have allowed stepchild adoption, the right of a person to adopt their partner’s child, was dropped to ensure its passage. Instead, the bill proposed that the country will respect any court verdict recognizing a stepparent’s rights.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also had to employ a confidence vote and gamble his entire coalition to bypass the hundreds of amendments proposed by conservatives in Parliament. The bill was then sent to the Chamber of Deputies for its examination.

To avoid new delays, Renzi once again used a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies. The vote succeeded by a landslide and assured the public that the bill would be approved. Had either of Renzi’s confidence votes failed, new elections would have to be called.

Once the confidence vote was passed in Wednesday’s session, supporters of the law from around the country cheered. The final vote on the law itself saw more MPs in favor, but also many abstentions from those who were in favor of the law and were not keen on Renzi’s usage of confidence votes.

Since the bill was not changed when it traveled from one chamber of Parliament to the other, it will be sent for the Italian President’s signature.

President Sergio Mattarella has 30 days to sign or veto the bill.

Mexico: Sonora Becomes the 8th State to Give Same-sex Marriages the Green Light

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The head of Sonora’s Civil Registry Department announced today that same-sex couples will no longer need a court order to marry despite current matrimonial laws specifying that marriage is only for heterosexual couples.

A fellow Civil Registry official confirmed that Sonora has been processing marriage applications freely this month and urged Congress to pass a bill to make marriage gender-neutral.

Sonora joins Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Quintana Roo as the Mexican jurisdictions that allow same-sex couples to wed without the need of a lengthy and expensive court injunction.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Mexico: Campeche Becomes 7th State with Same-sex Marriage

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Campeche became the latest Mexican state to approve same-sex marriage today when their Congress voted 34-1 in favor of a marriage bill submitted by the Governor.

Despite recent protests from religious groups, several members of Congress told the media that the reform in Campeche’s Civil Code was necessary as both an order from Mexico’s Supreme Court and as an issue of rights.

The bill will be promulgated and published in the state’s official gazette in the coming days.

Campeche joins Mexico City and the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Quintana Roo as the Mexican jurisdictions that allow same-sex couples to wed without a court injunction.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Final Vote on Italy’s Civil Unions Scheduled for Next Week

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Italy’s days as the last major Western European country not to afford same-sex couples legal recognition may soon be over next week.

According to The Local, the debate on Italy’s Civil Unions bill will begin on May 9th and end on the 12th with the final vote expected that Thursday.

The bill was approved in the Senate in February after fierce debates and a deluge of proposed amendments from conservative wings of Parliament. To overcome the flood of amendments, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had to employ a confidence vote, a measure that gambles his entire coalition, to be able to pass to the next round. Had his motion failed, new parliamentary elections would have been called.

Though Renzi has more allies in the Chamber, the Prime Minister said that another confidence vote will be called.

Stepchild adoption, the right of a person to adopt their partner’s child, was dropped to assure the bill’s passage and replaced with a clause that would respect a court’s decision to have the stepparents recognized if they won a case.

LGBT rights groups are unhappy with the current bill’s lack of stepchild adoption rights, but several MPs have revealed that a separate bill is in the works.

If the Civil Unions bill is approved as is in the Chamber of Deputies, it will be sent to the President for his signature.