In the wake of a 2015 Supreme Court decision that makes it illegal for individual Mexican States to bar same-sex couples from getting married, the President is determined to legalize same-sex marriage and enshrine it in the Mexican Constitution. At this point, couples denied marriage licenses can appeal to local judges who are now bound by the Supreme Court ruling to force clerks to issue a license.
At an event on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke about his proposal to change the constitution to reflect the Supreme Court ruling. To make an amendment Nieto needs two-thirds of the vote from Congress—his party and close allies control nearly half the seats. Liberal lawmakers are already in favor of same-sex marriage.
Shifting cultural tides reveal that although church officials oppose any such proposal, they may have little influence in the outcome. Recent studies show that despite 80% of the population claiming to be Catholic, only 15% to 20% attend religious services regularly. This demonstrates a weakening in the centuries long influence the Catholic Church has in shaping social norms in Mexico.
If any vote is approved, Mexico would become the fourth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage behind Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.