Equal Marriage in SLP… it’s time!
The current Legislature has the historic opportunity to endorse gay weddings in the state
By La Orquesta
Equal marriage is closer than ever in San Luis Potosí. With a Congress dominated by progressive forces and members related to weddings between people of the same sex, there is a serious possibility that San Luis Potosí will become the next state of the Mexican Republic to endorse a type of union for which it has been debated and fought for decades in the country.
There are, however, still some obstacles and issues to be solved. With an increasingly stronger pressure from civil society, the table is set for the current Legislature to take the next step and vote on a matter that has been contemplated (and thrown back) for almost a decade in Congress.
WHAT DO THE NEW MEMBERS THINK ABOUT?
The deputies of the State Congress have committed themselves to analyze the initiative that seeks to approve marriages between people of the same sex in San Luis Potosí. Although none of them has issued their official and final position, several of them have expressed their position thru the media.
The PAN deputy Rubén Guajardo Barrera said that the PAN bench continues talking and reflecting. “The Supreme Court of Justice issued an opinion, the clearest thing is that we have to respect the institutions, in the end I will have to share this issue with my colleagues”, he said.
The legislator said that there is a favorable scenario for the mentioned initiative, “it seems that yes, but as president of the Justice Commission I have to be respectful of the different points of view of each fraction, in the end the last word will be of the Parliament”
For its part, the PRI deputy Laura Patricia Silva Celis was also in favor, but clarified that it has to analyze the initiative, “would have to know how it comes, then at the time of reading the initiatives come things that are not supporting my point of view; I do not have any problem, I am a people with a very open mind and with a very important respect towards all citizens, being of the sexual orientation that they are”.
The deputy denied that there is a PRI line for a vote. “It is not that there are lines, the party has very clear statutes, it is a party that has built the institutions of this country and that has a clear respect for human freedoms”.
The president of the Political Coordination Board (Jucopo), Edson de Jesús Quintanar Sánchez, said that the Morena deputies (first minority in the Congress) will vote in favor of said proposal, commented: “I think that most of the deputies are in favor of the rights of citizens regardless of classes or groups, we are human beings and we deserve the same rights, (…) we will go in favor with these initiatives”.
It is significant that even a member of the Social Encounter Party (PES), identified with conservative ideas, has been open to the possibility of gay weddings. Last thursday, Mario Lárraga Delgado, belonging to that party, said he will vote for the freedoms of Potosino citizens, even if it goes against their personal preferences. “Let it be possible for everyone. I must say that I do not agree with equal marriages, but there are people who do, then everyone has the freedom to do it or not”, he explained.
He said the same thing about abortion: “I would not do it, I would not abort, but still, that all women as owners of their bodies are at liberty to do it or not do it”; in that sense, he recalled the case of “a girl in the United States who, because of a rape, became pregnant and was prevented from having an abortion”.
The statements of Lárraga Delgado contrast with the lines of his party, which has repeatedly shown in favor of life and family that they call “natural”; that is, the one made up of people of different sexes.
Not everyone is in favor of equal marriages in San Luis Potosí. Some voices have spoken openly against same-sex couples getting married. Such is the case of religious groups, who seek to stop the initiative.
Last thursday, a group of citizens led by Christian leaders went to the State Congress to oppose the promotion of an initiative that would legalize unions between people of the same sex in the state.
Among the slogans of the demonstrators were some like “look for another figure” in reference to the figure of marriage; “They are a minority” or “marriage is male and female”.
THE CHURCH AS A FACTOR
The Archdiocese in San Luis Potosí has also shown its disagreement with weddings between people of the same sex. While Juan Jesús Priego, spokesman of the Archdiocese, said that the church is respectful with all social groups, also said that for them marriage is still an institution that implies the union between a man and a woman. To the idea that the Congress put to consideration the gay weddings, Priego exposed that there are other “priorities” and urgencies in the public debate.
More emphatic was Ariel Miranda Nieto, Christian pastor and leader of organizations related to that faith, who called for a demonstration on Thursday in Congress to prevent what, he believes, is a plan designed to “legitimize homosexuality,” and which would begin with the approval of the initiative that would give legality to unions between people of the same sex.
In her invitation to the protest, Miranda Nieto quoted her parishioners in the state legislature, considering that those who promote the legalization of equal marriages: “it is not so much that they are interested in weddings. This is a previous step to legitimize homosexuality and then indoctrinate children from kindergarten that this is correct”.
According to the Christian leader, “the last step will be to persecute and punish those who oppose these teachings with jail”.
However, in an interview with the media, the leader of the protesters contradicted the position of his invitation and assured that “we are not homophobic, but I believe that this group of people, whom we respect, can be resolved. they can solve their needs through another figure”.
He insisted that “marriage, from its root, implies the union of two people of the different sex. And I believe that people of the same sex have all the right to social protection, inheritance, etc., and, well, for that we have a Congress that looks for the most appropriate figure to solve those problems but without putting them in force as with shoehorn in the marriage concept”.
THE ACTIVISM RISES UP
Jeús Paúl Ibarra Collazo, head of the Social Diversification Network in San Luis Potosí, regretted that religious groups are opposed, at this point, to the reform initiative that would legalize unions and cohabitation between people of the same gender in the entity.
“We must also say that we are not in a period of confrontation”, argued the activist and said that there are parties, even those that had previously been positioned against, that today are in favor of its approval.
“Even the PAN itself is in favor of the initiative; is (Rubén) Guajardo who presides over Justice, which is the first turn of the initiative, and he is in favor. We are going to work with him. It is the ones that have to be convinced because the other parties have a position in favor”.
Ibarra Collazo estimated that the religious groups led by pastor Ariel Miranda Nieto are seeking to “influence the decisions of the state, regarding marriage and equalitarian concubinage”, precisely at the moment when the issue is once again on the local legislative agenda.
On the other hand, and with respect to the invitation that Miranda Nieto made to his parishioners to come to the Congress, the activist for the rights of the LGBT community implied that “we must be careful with this person because he is promoting an erroneous message, on the one hand; and on the other, causing the public to have the wrong idea about homosexuality”.
“I believe that even the Ministry of the Interior would have to intervene; we must find a way to show this person or this group of people who are inciting hatred”, said Paul Ibarra.
A SMALL STEP, A GREAT JUMP
Although it may seem like it, the discussion of equal marriage is not a new or merely local issue. It is something that comes from decades ago, in a struggle that was often silenced and that, at last, seems to have found the right conditions to land.
In 2006, the Law of Coexistence Society was approved in Mexico City. It was the first step with which the State legitimized a reality of life for an important part of the population.
Since then, there have been additional efforts throughout the country, without the legal union between persons of the same sex being consolidated. San Luis Potosí must choose through its representatives, and also through the citizen debate, what direction it wants to take. If you want to remain anchored to the past or if you decide to look forward, offering the same rights to all society, including minorities who, like everyone, contribute from their trenches to the prosperity of the nation.
“It is against the natural law of God, which marks that only a man and a woman can marry.”
Father Elías Rangel, from the Jesús Nazareno church in Salinas de Hidalgo.
“[Same-sex couples] can adapt perfectly to the current foundations of the marriage institution and more broadly to those of the family”. For all relevant effects, homosexual couples are in a situation equivalent to heterosexual couples, as such. way that their exclusion from marriage is unjustified”.
-Olga Sánchez Cordero, appointed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador as the next owner of Segob.
Also read: New initiative for equal marriages