Huge win in Mexico: Supreme Court of Mexico overturns marriage ban in Oaxaca
December 05, 2012
This afternoon, the Supreme Court of Mexico issued a unanimous ruling in the southern state of Oaxaca that stood against the state's law that currently excludes same-sex couples from marriage. The Oaxaca Civil Code had previously stated restricted marriage to a union between a man and a woman. [Update: Check out this article for more detailed information about the intricacies of the ruling]
The ruling signals a big win for the freedom to marry in Mexico - and while the full ruling is not yet available, proponents of the freedom to marry in the country have said that the case "opens the door to equal marriage in the whole country.
The court ruled on behalf of three same-sex couple seeking to marry in the southern state of Oaxaca. The court had already ruled in 2010 that gay marriages performed under a Mexico City ordinance had to be recognized nationwide. With this precedent, the remaining bans on gay marriage in most Mexican states could quickly fall.
This ruling does not immediately eliminate marriage statutes limiting unions to a man and a woman-the Mexican Supreme Court doesn't have the power to strike down state laws like that en mass as the United States Supreme Court does. But the lawyer who brought the case, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, said before the ruling that victory would mean the beginning of the end for bans on same-sex marriage.
Same-sex couples in Mexico currently have the freedom to marry in Mexico City, thanks to a law passed by the Legislative Assembly in Mexico City which took effect in March 2010. In August 2010, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled that marriages performed in Mexico City would be respected throughout the country.
Same-sex couples in eleven countries around in the world - from The Netherlands to Spain to Argentina to South Africa - have the freedom to marry, while an additional three countries have court-directed or regional provisions enabling some same-sex couples to share in marriage. This ruling in Oaxaca is one huge step for same-sex couples in Mexico - and in the coming weeks, we will keep close tabs on Mexico to see if other states' bans on marriage for same-sex couples fall.