Eight gay and lesbian couples are expected to marry early next year near the tourist destination city of Cancun, Mexico, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

The city-state of Mexico City legalized gay marriage in 2010 and remains the only municipality in Mexico where such marriages are officially allowed.

However, the couples' lawyers have successfully argued in front of judges that the Civil Code of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo does not specifically bar such marriages because the state's marriage application is gender neutral.

Gay travel groups in the state say they are now preparing to market the state as a destination for gay couples to marry and will promote a mass wedding of gay couples sometime in January. (It was not clear whether the first 8 confirmed couples would wed in separate ceremonies.)

“The aim is to promote this niche market, which is very attractive to European, Canadian and American couples,” said Patricia Novelo, the spokeswoman for Diversity Collective.

The gay travel groups say that travel agencies on average receive about 200 requests per month from gay tourists wishing to marry in the Mexican Caribbean.