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Mexico Moves Closer to Allowing Public Religious Events

Constitutional amendment easily passes Senate, but states still need to approve.

Less than three days after Pope Benedict XVI finished his visit to Mexico, the country's Senate approved a constitutional reform guaranteeing the right to public religious events, provided they don't involve electoral politics.

CT reported earlier that Mexico's Chamber of Deputies had approved the amendment in December. Critics allege the measure could open the door to religion in public affairs and public schools; supporters argue it brings Mexico's constitution into closer alignment with international treaties the government has signed.

The amendment had the support of both the governing National Action Party and the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party. It passed 72-35 in the Senate. Approval is still needed from at least 16 of Mexico's 31 state legislatures for the amendment to take effect.

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