‘Til 2013 do us part? Mexico City mulls 2-year marriage

October 2, 2011

(A wedding in the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Old Bolingbroke, UK, 26 September 2009/Dave Hitchborne)

Mexico City lawmakers want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by giving them an easy exit strategy: temporary marriage licenses. Leftists in the city’s assembly — who have already riled conservatives by legalizing gay marriage — proposed a reform to the civil code this week that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime.

The minimum marriage contract would be for two years and could be renewed if the couple stays happy. The contracts would include provisions on how children and property would be handled if the couple splits.

“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, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill. “You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce,” said Luna, from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, which has the most seats in the 66-member chamber.

Luna says the proposed law is gaining support and he expects a vote by the end of this year. Around half of Mexico City marriages end in divorce, usually in the first two years. The bustling capital, one of the world’s largest cities, is much more liberal than the rest of the country, where the divorce rate is significantly lower although on the rise. Abortion is legal in Mexico City, while the Supreme Court ruled this week to uphold state laws in Baja California that say life begins at conception.

Leftist Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who angered the Catholic Church when he made Mexico City the first Latin American city to legalize gay marriage in late 2009, announced this month he would soon step down to run for president.

The church criticized the proposed change. “This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage,” said Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexico City¬† archdiocese. “It’s another one of these electoral theatrics the assembly tends to do that are irresponsible and immoral.” The Church holds considerable sway in the country with the world’s second largest Catholic population after Brazil.

by Alex Leff in Mexico City

via ‘Til 2013 do us part? Mexico mulls 2-year marriage | Reuters.


Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld

rss buttonSubscribe to all posts via RSS


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

This is not what marriage was intended to be like. If this becomes the future of marriages in Mexico it will not help to improve marriage success rates. A law such as this will only give a couple the motivation to stop working together despite differences when circumstances become hard. Marriage is not easy, and it will not help to say “here you go, you can leave if you don’t like it anymore. You don’t need to be obligated to make this work even though it was your choice in the first place, and you felt that this was the only person for you.” Perhaps there are good intentions, but it will become abused just like not fault divorce was in America. This is a law that should not be passed.

Posted by spe07012 | Report as abusive

Always a chuckle to see folks who believe laws are settled on humans from some invisible dude in the sky. Better record-keeping would probably offer the name of the goatherd and part-time prophet who thunk it up,

People should live under laws they help formulate. Democracy 101.

Posted by Eideard | Report as abusive