Mexican Lower House Approves Bill to Separate Church And State

February 11, 2010

Author: Adriana Lopez Caraveo and Jens Erik Gould

Source: Business Week

Mexico’s lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment that formally establishes the separation of church and state after religious leaders criticized legislation on gay rights and abortion.

The bill was approved today with 363 votes in favor, one vote against and eight abstentions. It “guarantees the autonomy of institutions from religious norms, rules and convictions or individual ideologies, as well as the equality of people before the law independent of their convictions,” according to the document published today in the legislative gazette.

The legislation comes as the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico has criticized such measures as a Mexico City law passed in December that allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, and the capital city’s legalization in 2007 of abortion in the first trimester.