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Yucatán’s LGBTQ+ activists prepare for a new uphill battle

Marriage equality may be the law of the land, but Yucatán’s new highly conservative congress is unlikely to ratify it without a fight.

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Supporters of marriage equality at a rally in front of Mérida’s Monumento a la Bandera in 2019. Photo: Courtesy

The sweeping victory of the PAN in Yucatán’s recent election has LGBTQ+ activists concerned, and with good reason.

In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent people of the same gender to marry. However, several jurisdictions including Yucatán have refused to ratify the decision.

In 2019, Yucatan’s state legislature held a highly unusual secret vote to ratify the decision of the Supreme Court but failed to do so.

When the state congress next meets, approximately 75% of the seats will be controlled by PAN legislators, a political party known for dragging its feet on issues of gender equality. 

“We will be facing an uphill battle, that’s for sure, but we have the law on our side,” said Alex Orué, director of It Gets Better Yucatán. 

Earlier: Allies join the fight for marriage equality in Yucatán

Marriage equality advocates point out that legally speaking, Yucatán’s legislature is not able to ban marriage equality, only delay its ratification. 

“No state congress or any other legislative body can overrule decisions by the Supreme Court, they can delay ratification for a while, but not overturn it,” said a constitutional law expert, Raúl Lopez Ojeda. 

During Mexico’s recent June 6 midterm elections, aside from winning control of the state congress the PAN also picked up 42 mayorships. PAN mayors preside over Mérida and other important municipalities such as Valladolid, Progreso, Tekax, and Umán.

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