Coahuila on Monday became the first Mexican state to legislatively legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

Lawmakers approved (19-3) changes to the state's civil code which give gay and straight couples equal marital rights, including adoption, Mexican media reported.

The state's civil code was altered from defining marriage as a “union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation” to “a union between two people with the possibility of procreation or adoption.”

The changes were proposed by Leftist Congressman Samuel Acevedo, who said his proposal was opposed by the Catholic Church and social conservative groups.

Coahuila previously recognized gay couples with civil unions.

Gay couples can also marry in Mexico City, where lawmakers approved a marriage law in 2009. Mexico City is a federal district, not a state, much like the District of Columbia. Such unions have also taken place in Quintana Roo, where the state's civil code is gender neutral.

Coahuila's neighbor to the north is Texas.