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Till two years do us part: Mexico City considers temporary marriages

Mexico City could soon gut the meaning of the age-old wedding vow, “Till death do us part.”

Legislators in the city — where half of all nuptials end in divorce (usually within the first two years) — are considering giving newlyweds the option of entering into temporary two-year marriages.

“The proposal is when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious the contract simply ends,” Reuters quoted bill co-author and Mexico City Assemblyman Leonel Luna. “You wouldn’t have to go through the torturous process of divorce,” continued Luna, a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Advocates point out that temporary marriages will allow couples to experiment with what married life is really all about, and provide an escape hatch if after two years the experience is not what they had envisioned.

“If within the two years the spouses decide the marriage isn’t working, they can divorce in the traditional way. No one can make them stay together,” Democratic Revolution Party member Lizbeth Rosas Montero, the legislation’s author, told the BBC.

The proposal is not without detractors, specifically the Catholic Church.

“This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage,” Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexican archdiocese told Reuters. “It’s another one of these electoral theatrics the [Mexico City] Assembly tends to do that are irresponsible and immoral.”

Mexico boasts the second largest Catholic population in the world, but Mexico City has bucked some of the conservative ideals of the Church with legal abortion and the distinction of being the first Latin American city to legalize gay marriage.

A vote is expected on the legislation by the end of the year.

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