A gay Christian group has welcomed Mexico’s introduction of civil union laws in its capital.

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Last week Mexico City backed civil union laws for gay and straight partnersunicipalities of Buenos Aires and Rio Grande de Sul (Brazil) in passing such legislation.

The Metropolitan Community Churches congratulated the lawmakers on breaking down discrimination.

Reverend Nancy Wilson, moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches said: “It must not go unnoticed that as bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the US prepare to draft guidelines for ‘pastoral care’ that describe gay and lesbian relationships as ‘morally wrong,’ and as the Vatican and other faith groups oppose the right of LGBT people to simply assemble in public in places such as Jerusalem, the government of Mexico City has taken a clear stand for equality by affirming the value and worth of our LGBT relationships.

“That gives me great hope for both our future as human beings and the spiritual faith to which I cling.”

Mexican gay campaigner, Rocio Sanchez, called it a step towards equality.

He told Reuters: “The fight won’t end here. It is a first step to finally achieving equal rights. But we knew that in Mexico it wasn’t possible to go right for marriage.”

The law brings pension, property and inheritance rights to gay couples, but will not allow adoption.