The coastal city of Progreso celebrated yesterday its very first same-sex wedding under Yucatán’s new marriage equality law.
Though the statewide law achieved the approval of congress last August, the measure only came into effect last week.
The happy couple is Luciano Martínez Tzuc and Irving Suárez Pérez, two men in their late 30’s who have been together for 18 years.
“It’s so wonderful that we are able to celebrate our love without the need to rely on legal technicalities. We are a couple like any other who love each other and is now married,” said Martínez Tzuc.
Despite a few nasty comments online, reactions to the news of the wedding were mostly positive, with scores of wellwishers leaving supportive messages on the couple’s social media accounts.
In fact, news of the couple’s nuptials attracted so much attention that hundreds of non-invited guests reportedly planned to show up to show their support.
As a result, the venue of the wedding was changed at the last minute from a chapel near the malecón to an event hall further south.
This was because the couple decided they wanted to avoid large numbers of people congregating around the ceremony due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Same-sex weddings have been possible in Yucatán for a number of years, but not without the use of a legal resource known as an amparo, a court injunction that comes at a considerable financial cost.
August’s vote to make same-sex marriage legal in Yucatán passed with 20 votes in favor and five against. Attempts to pass a measure to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry previously failed twice, most recently in 2019.
In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent people of the same gender from marrying. However, a handful of states are still refusing to ratify the decision.
In contrast to most states in Mexico that have legalized same-sex marriage by modifying their civil bylaws, Yucatán has actually modified its state constitution.
This, say lawmakers and activists in Yucatán, is to firmly enshrine marriage equality in the state — as it makes backtracking on the decision by later governments extremely difficult.
Only Baja California, Morelos, and Mexico City have done the same.