Peruvian Congress Votes to Remove LGBT from Hate Crime Legislation

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After a heated debate extending into early Friday, politicians in Peru voted 66-29 to remove LGBT from the hate crime legislation brought into law through a Presidential Decree earlier this year.

For the first 90 days of his tenure, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Party For Change, was granted the customary permission by Congress to tackle several of Peru’s issues via decree and took advantage of that right to extend the scope of what registers as a hate crime in the existing Peruvian Penal Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. His decree came into effect in January of 2017.

Members of the largest party in Congress, Popular Force, whose leader narrowly lost to Kuczynksi in the last Presidential race, were joined by members of the Alliance For Progress in pushing the vote to repeal the section of the decree protecting LGBT from discrimination, persecution and incitement to hatred after claiming that the President was not assigned the power to take this step.

The topic became a controversial one after more than a million signatures were said to be added to a petition calling for the removal of the LGBT terms in the new Penal Code. A Constitutional Committee previously voted in April in favor of a repeal and sent the motion to the plenary where conservative parties hold a majority of seats.

Following Friday’s vote, Peru returns to being one of three South American countries with no anti-discrimination laws covering its LGBT population along with Paraguay and Guyana.

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Mexico: Citing Civil Registry Mix Up, Chihuahua’s Governor Announces That Same-sex Couples Can Cannot Be Denied a Marriage License

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Days after it was reported that authorities in Chihuahua told same-sex couples that court injunctions would once again be required to marry inside the state, the Governor issued a statement declaring that under no circumstances can these couples be denied a marriage license.

The Governor told the media that the right to marry is a settled matter before the Supreme Court and claims to have personally stepped in to stop the confusion at the Civil Registry. The head of state denied reports that his predecessor’s 2015 executive order allowing Chihuahua to issue marriage licenses freely had been overturned.

Following the continuation of same-sex weddings in the area, Chihuahua once again joins Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, and Quintana Roo in allowing same-sex couples to marry without court action.

Although deemed unconstitutional by rights groups quoting a past Supreme Court ruling because it does not also include the right to marry, the state of Tlaxcala allows civil unions for same-sex couples.

All remaining Mexican states require a lawsuit to wed and every state in Mexico must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in the country.

For more information on Mexico’s road to same-sex marriage, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Mexico

Mexico: Chihuahua Halts Same-sex Marriages

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This week, Chihuahua’s Civil Registry halted the free celebration of same-sex marriages in the nation’s largest state.

The news came as several couples were told by the Registry that court injunctions will once again be required in order to marry within the state. This move ends the executive order issued in 2015 by the previous Governor allowing same-sex weddings freely.

LGBT activists blasted the reversal of the 2015 order and accused Chihuahua’s new Governor and his administration of bowing to pressure from conservative “For the Family” groups.

Activists will attempt to speak with the head of the Civil Registry and the Governor in hopes of resolving the matter promptly.

Previously, Chihuahua joined Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Guerrero (most municipalities), Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, and Quintana Roo in marrying couples without a court order. The state of Tlaxcala approved civil unions for same-sex couples despite a past Supreme Court ruling that separate is not equal.

Although the remaining Mexican states must recognize all marriages conducted in the country, court injunctions to wed in those remaining states themselves are expensive and time-consuming.

For more information on Mexico’s same-sex marriage journey, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Same-sex Marriage Lawsuit Filed in El Salvador

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A lawyer in El Salvador has filed a lawsuit before El Salvador’s Supreme Court asking for the nullification of Article 11 of the Family Code which defines marriage as “a legal union between a man and a woman”.

Labeling the law as discriminatory and explaining the lack of gendered terms used in Article 34 of the Constitution’s summary of a marriage, the suit seeks to allow same-sex couples the right to wed.

Reacting to the lawsuit, several members of the Legislative Assembly dismissed the notion of allowing same-sex marriage, citing Article 11.

In recent years, several attempts by the Assembly’s conservative parties have been made to add a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage, but the second-largest party in the Assembly continued to deny them the 2/3 majority of votes required to ratify the ban.

The latest attempt led by a 35-member strong right-wing party in 2015 reached the first threshold of at least 43/86 votes in favor, but the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front’s 31-seat abstention resulted in the ban’s current state of limbo as 56 votes in favor are required for the ratification of a constitutional amendment.

El Salvador is the latest Latin American country after Mexico (on a state by state basis), Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Venezuela to sue for marriage equality.

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

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

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