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Monday, February 8, 2010

Mexican President Calderon fights gay marriage

2009 Marcha Gay in Mexico City

A law takes effect on March 4 that allows gay and lesbian residents of Mexico City to marry and adopt children. Mexican President Felipe Calderon and others are looking at tactics to block it.

President Calderon claims the country's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but legal experts disagree. Regardless, Caldron’s administration and attorney general, Arturo Ch├ívez, are challenging the law in court with a constitutional clause protecting family. Roman Catholic groups support the president’s conservative position.

Mexico City’s legislative assembly passed the law 39-20 on Dec. 21. It defines marriage as "the free uniting of two people." The city wants to boost gay tourism and has been working with travel agencies to create promotions that target same-sex couples.

The list of places where same-sex marriage is legal currently includes Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands. Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province and the U.S. states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa all allow same-sex marriage. It becomes legal in Washington, D.C. in March and in Portugal later this year.

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