Mexico's most populous state approves same-sex marriage

The congress of Mexico's most populous state voted overwhelmingly to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

 A participant wearing a Storm Trooper helmet takes part in the LGBT pride parade in Monterrey, Mexico, June 26, 2021. (photo credit: DANIEL BECERRIL/REUTERS)
A participant wearing a Storm Trooper helmet takes part in the LGBT pride parade in Monterrey, Mexico, June 26, 2021.
(photo credit: DANIEL BECERRIL/REUTERS)

The congress of Mexico's most populous state, State of Mexico, on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to legally recognize same-sex marriage, becoming the 29th of Mexico's 32 states to do so.

"Equal marriage is a public institution, whereby two people freely decide to share a life," the state's legislative body said in a tweet after lawmakers passed the bill with 50 votes in favor and 16 against.

The state of Mexico, which borders the capital, is the country's most populous state and one of its most gender-violent. It counts close to 17 million inhabitants - nearly five times the population of Uruguay.

The approval follows recent legalizations by the states of Sonora and Sinaloa.

Gay marriage in Latin America

Mexico City became the first area of the country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009, and the following year Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize it nationwide.

A woman holds a flag as she attends the LGBTQ+ Pride Parade after being cancelled for two years due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Mexico City, Mexico June 25, 2022. (credit: Quetzalli Nicte-Ha/REUTERS)A woman holds a flag as she attends the LGBTQ+ Pride Parade after being cancelled for two years due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Mexico City, Mexico June 25, 2022. (credit: Quetzalli Nicte-Ha/REUTERS)

Same-sex marriage remains illegal or not recognized in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, most of Central America and swathes of the Caribbean, according to global LGBT rights tracker Equaldex.

The state's legislative body tweeted a statement from lawmaker Juana Bonilla Jaime that credited the struggle of LGBT+ activists in getting the bill to parliament: "Each legislature has its history and today we are part of that history."