Mexico City law recognizing gay civil unions signed, published in official gazette
MEXICO CITY – Legislation recognizing gay civil unions in the Mexican capital was published in the official gazette on Thursday, making it the first such law in the history of the conservative, predominantly Roman Catholic country.The law does not legalize gay marriage but allows same-sex couples living in Mexico City to register civil unions with authorities, granting them inheritance rights and other benefits typically given to spouses.City legislature passed the law last week and it was signed on Monday by Mexico City Mayor Alejandro Encinas. However it will not take effect for 120 days.At least one conservative non-governmental group said it was considering seeking a court injunction against the measure.The measure has been severely criticized by the Catholic Church and conservative groups in the country, which is 90 percent Catholic. The Mexican Council of Bishops has said the law is the first step toward legalizing gay marriage and adoption by gays. The conservative National Parents Union called it “aberrant.”While homosexuality is still taboo in many rural parts of Latin America, the region’s urban areas are becoming more tolerant. Mexico City joins the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires and the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul in legalizing same-sex civil unions.At the national level, lawmakers in Costa Rica and Colombia have debated, but not passed, similar measures.The Mexico City assembly passed the measure by a vote of 43-17, with all the no-votes coming from the conservative National Action Party of President Vicente Fox and President-elect Felipe Calderon. The party is known for its opposition to abortion and support for traditional families.