Mexico’s gay couples fight backlash against same-sex marriage

12/19/2016 The Guardian

Mexico CIty Cathedral Photo by Flickr user worldsurferAfter 19 years together, Inés Acevedo and Yolanda Torres finally tied the knot last September, at a collective wedding in the Mexican city of Querétaro. But their marriage was tragically short lived: less than a month later, Torres suffered a fatal heart attack.

Her death triggered a period of intense grief for Acevedo – but also the start of a bitter legal battle to have the couple’s legal rights respected. When Acevedo tried to obtain a certified copy of the marriage licence so she could process her pension, she was told the document didn’t exist.

Only after a complaint to state human rights officials did the document appear – though the registry director told Acevedes that she was receiving it “due to extraordinary circumstances”.

Same-sex couples have been able to marry in Mexico since 2009, when the country’s capital became the first city in Latin America to pass marriage equality laws. But in recent months, a well-organized and well-funded backlash has emerged, claiming credit for derailing a presidential proposal to entrench marriage equality in the country’s constitution.

Meanwhile, a string of cases like Acevedo’s suggest that rights for gay people are still treated as exceptions to be granted at the discretion of local officials.

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