MEXICO CITY, October 3, 2011 ( – Left-wing legislators in Mexico City’s assembly, flush with success in legalizing same-sex “marriage” and abortion, are now proposing a reform in the civil marriage code that would allow marriage licenses that are valid for only two years, and would automatically expire unless couples decides to renew them.

“The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” said Leonel Luna, an assemblyman from the Party of the Democratic Revolution who co-authored the bill, according to a Reuters report.

‘‘You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce.’‘

Lizbeth Rosas Montero, the bill’s other co-author, told the BBC that since half of all marriages in Mexico City end in divorce, usually within the first two years, she believes simplifying divorce would reduce the divorce rate and lessen the burden on the court system.

“Two years is the minimum amount of time it takes to know and appreciate what life is like as a couple,” she told BBC Mundo in Spanish.

“If you renew, that means you have an understanding with your partner, and that you are clear on the rules of the relationship.”

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The legislation has proven to be controversial in Mexico, with immediate reaction from conservative groups and the Catholic Church. Mexico has the second largest Catholic population in world, after Brazil.

“At first I thought it was a hoax,” said Consuelo Mendoza, of the National Union of Parents. “These initiatives create a culture of disposability within important societal issues.”

“The 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 assembly tends to do that are irresponsible and immoral.”

Some commentators have pointed out that the Mexican temporary marriage license legislation, which Luna and Montero expect to come to a vote by the end of the year, is very similar to Islamic Nikāh Mut’ah – fun or pleasure marriage.

Nikāh means marriage in Arabic; Mut’ah means fun or pleasure. According to the Islamic information website, Mut’ah is a temporary marriage, the duration of which is fixed at its beginning and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. The marriage is contractual and is subject to renewal.

The Mexico City marriage legislation also follows Mut’ah in the aspect of contracting the financial settlement following the expiry of the marriage license. Mut’ah stipulates that the man is required to pay “mahr” or dower to the woman at the completion of the contracted time.