Matrimony in Mexico City: For Better or Worse, At Least for Two Years

  • Share
  • Read Later
Daniel Sheehan Photographers / Getty Images

In Mexico City, “‘Til death do us part” may turn into “‘Til I’m sick of you.”

Leftist lawmakers in the city’s assembly are proposing a new amendment that eliminates the eternal bliss component from a marriage contract, providing couples with an easier exit strategy than divorce.

The new legislation, designed to avoid the hassle of the divorce process, would allow for temporary marriage contracts and give couples the freedom to opt out of a lifetime commitment. The reformed civil code would outline issues including custody of children and shared property, but only requires a couple to sign for a minimum of two years.

(MORE: Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution)

“The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” said Leonel Luna, a Mexico City assemblyman and member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Proponents of the bill argue that about half of marriages end in divorce in Mexico City, usually within the first two years, Reuters reports.

Luna, who co-authored the bill, said the proposal is gaining support despite a controversial reception from conservatives, including the clergy.

“This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage,” Hugo Valdemar, a spokesman for the Mexican archdiocese said. “It’s another one of these electoral theatrics the assembly tends to do that are irresponsible and immoral.”

As one of the world’s largest cities, Mexico City is recognized for its liberal views, a stark contrast to the rest of the country that is home to the world’s second-largest Catholic population.

The capital city’s leftist mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, angered conservatives and the church when he signed off on the legalization of gay marriage in 2009, making Mexico City the first Latin American city to do so. Ebrard announced this month he would soon step down to seek the country’s presidency.

Despite the church’s substantial influence on the population, most of the 66 seats in the chamber belong to members of the leftist party. A vote on the marriage-license proposal is expected by the end of the year.

MORE: History Vote Makes Gay Marriage Legal in New York State