The measure, which will provide gay couples with numerous social benefits
similar to those of married couples, was approved with 20 votes in favor and 13
votes against, said Rep. Julieta Lopez of the centrist Institutional
Revolutionary Party, or PRI. Lopez helped the draft the bill.
Coahuila governor Humberto Moreira, who is also in the PRI, is expected to sign
the bill into law. In November the Mexico City assembly passed a similar
measure, the first such law in the nation's history. That law has been sharply
criticized by the Roman Catholic Church and the conservative National Action
Party of President Felipe Calderon.
While homosexuality is still taboo in many rural parts of Latin America, the
region's urban areas are becoming more socially liberal. Mexico City and
Coahuila join the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires and the southern Brazilian
state of Rio Grande do Sul in legalizing same-sex civil unions. At the national
level, lawmakers in Costa Rica and Colombia have debated, but not passed,