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Mexican Lawmaker Asks To Bar Gay Unions In Public

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Gay rights activists Temistocles Villanueva, 23, left, and Daniel Ramos, 24, kiss during a march in favor of the legality of adoptions by gay couples outside the Supreme Court in Mexico City, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. The Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex weddings are constitutional , though it is holding separate discussions this week on the adoption clause. One of the justices, Sergio Aguirre, argued against adoptions by same-sex couples Tuesday, saying children might suffer discrim | AP

MEXICO CITY -- A state legislator has caused a stir by asking authorities to bar gay weddings from public spaces, arguing it confuses children in a state that just approved same-sex civil unions.

Colima state lawmaker Rafael Mendoza said mothers came to him with complaints after a wedding took place between a U.S. man and a Mexican man in the main plaza of the city of Cuauhtemoc.

He said Tuesday that society is not ready to watch gay weddings, saying the mothers didn't know what to tell their kids when the two men dressed in charro suits kissed.

"Parents are coming to me, to my house, to tell me they are against the city carrying out these weddings in public," Mendoza said. "I am not against these civil unions; the only thing is I don't want them in public."

A rival political group said it plans to file a human rights complaint this week charging Mendoza with discrimination.

His own party, the Democratic Revolution Party, asked him to take back the comments, since the leftist party has championed gay marriages in Mexico.

Mendoza said he is giving up his party leadership in the state congress because he didn't do anything wrong. He said he is representing his constituents and voicing their concerns.

"He is discriminating," said Cuauhtemoc Mayor Indira Vizcaino. "He is claiming that it creates a bad image for children and young people to have these gay weddings in public."

Colima's legislature voted in May to approve a change in the state's constitution to create same-sex civil unions. The law provides gay couples with numerous social benefits similar to those of married couples, but Colima still restricts marriage to a man and a woman.

The city of Cuauhtemoc has pushed for making gay marriage legal, and the mayor says 35 same-sex couples have held civil union ceremonies so far and more than a dozen are to come.

Currently, same-sex marriages are allowed in Mexico only in Mexico City and in the southern state of Oaxaca. The northern state of Coahuila began allowing same-sex civil unions in 2007.


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