Same-sex marriage has been legalised and conversion therapy banned in the Mexican state of Yucatán.
It becomes the 22nd state in the country to allow same-sex weddings, with Sinaloa doing so in June and Baja California in August.
Yucatán’s Congress voted 20 to five to pass the measure allowing gay couples to marry, which altered Article 94 of the state’s constitution to define marriage as a “free and voluntary legal union” between two people.
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled state-level prohibitions against same-sex marriage in 2015, meaning LGBTQ+ citizens had to apply for an “exception” as marriage was defined as solely for opposite-sex couples.
Advocacy groups such as Colectivo por la Protección de Todas las Familias en Yucatán (Colectivo PTF), Article 19, Indignación, and UNASSE have been fighting for equality in the state for several years, making this change a huge sigh of relief for them.
“Today they have finally done their job of repairing the damage to the LGBTQ+ community by legislating in favor of the recognition of their rights to equality and non-discrimination in the form of marriage and cohabitation,” the groups said in a joint statement.
Yucatán’s government was urged by organisations to publicise the new law so that same-sex couples will not face discrimination when applying for a marriage license.
The statement continued: “There is much to legislate, public policies to implement, justice to access, and our work will continue there.
“But today we celebrate this victory, which has been worked for over a decade by our community by countless LGBTQ people and allies.”
In a unanimous vote, the legislature also criminalised conversion therapy in Yucatán and medical professionals or individuals gound guilty of practicing it will face up to three years in prison.
The penalty can reportedly be doubled in situations where a minor is subjected to the discredited and abhorrent practice.
It is likely that the change to Yucatán’s law could result in similar cases being brought before the Supreme Court regarding Mexico’s last 11 states not allowing same-sex marriage.