Mexico's federal government has
challenged a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers in Mexico City,
the Mexico City-based Excelsior reported.
The law – approved in December and
expected to take effect in March – is a first for Latin America.
It gives gay and lesbian couples all the rights and responsibilities
of marriage, including the right to adopt children. Previously, the
city government recognized gay couples with civil unions, but gay
adoption was banned.
The federal Attorney General's Office
has challenged the law on the basis that it violates the
constitution. The office has asked Mexico's Supreme Court to void
the law because it “strays from the responsibility of the
government to place a priority on safeguarding the interests of
Federal lawyers also argue that the
city's civil union law grants gay couples virtually the same rights
as marriage, except those related to children.
City officials, however, said the
action would not interfere with the start of the law, scheduled to
take effect on March 4.
In an interview with the Excelsior,
Leticia Bonifaz, the city's legal adviser, said she was “totally
confident that this is an issue of fundamental rights ...”
The Roman Catholic Church and the
conservative PAN party have widely criticized the law. Mexico's
Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Noberto Rivera Carrera, has
called the law “immoral” and “reprehensible.” PAN leaders
have mounted a campaign to overturn the law.
Mexico City is the nation's seat of
government and also its largest city. Nearly 10% of Mexicans call
the city home.
A recent poll found 46% of residents
approve of the law, 43% oppose it, and 11% are undecided.