Mexican State of Yucatán Approves Same-Sex Marriage, Bans Conversion Therapy

Sunday August 29, 2021

  (Source:Getty Images)

This week, the Mexican state of Yucatán became the 22nd state to modify its constitution to make marriage "the free and voluntary legal union of two people with equal rights, duties and obligations." The state's congress also banned so-called conversion therapy, which claims to alter individuals' sexual orientation.

Although same-sex marriage has been legal in Mexico since 2015, when the country's Supreme Court (SJCN) declared it unconstitutional to prohibit marriage between couples of the same sex, before yesterday's ruling, such couples had to apply for a pardon to be married in the state of Yucatán.

Mexico's status as a popular, LGBTQ+-friendly destination has been reaffirmed in the past three months with the approval of same-sex marriage in not only Yucatán but in Baja California and Sinaloa, as well. The change strengthens Yucatán's potential to evolve into Mexico's newest LGBTQ+ destination.

In 2019, Mexico Secretary of Tourism Miguel Torruco Marques, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) and marketing and consulting firm Queer Destinations signed a "Letter of Intent" to further promote LGBTQ+ tourism to Mexico. Since then, Queer Destinations has been working with Yucatán to train, develop and certify tourism players in Mérida and throughout the region.

State Minister of Tourism Michelle Fridman Hirsch sees the constitutional modification as a positive step in attracting the highly coveted LGBTQ+ market. According to World Travel and Tourism Council indicators, 10% of the world's travelers are in the LBGTQ + segment and they spend more, on average, than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.

"Making the legal process for same-sex marriages opens up the state of Yucatán to the opportunity to attract even more weddings to our destination a source of economic impact that is welcomed particularly with the pandemic," said Fridman. "We celebrate the steps taken by our congress and look forward to continuing our work to offer our visitors a destination that is rich with culture, history, modernity and, above all, welcoming and safe to all."