Mexican Supreme Court upholds capital’s freedom to marry law

Posted by Mark Stevenson on

"The Mexican Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a fledgling law honoring the freedom to marry in Mexico City is constitutional, rejecting an appeal by federal prosecutors who argued that it violated the charter's guarantees to protect the family.

"The justices have not yet determined the scope of their 8-2 ruling, however, saying they still need to decide whether it will affect states outside of the capital.

"The court must also still rule on the constitutionality of a provision of the Mexico City law that lets same-sex couples adopt children. It is expected to address that issue Monday.

"'We are very happy,' said Mexico City lawyer Leticia Bonifaz, who argued the capital's case. 'It fell to us to carry to a conclusion a struggle that has taken a long time.'

"Justices who voted on the majority side stressed that while Mexico's constitution enshrines protection for families, it does not define what a 'family' is.

"Hundreds of couples have been married so far under the six-month-old law, the first of its kind to be enacted in Latin America when it took effect March 4.

"'It does not appear to me to be unconstitutional,' Justice Jose Gudino said during Thursday's session. 'The concept of the family established in the constitution ... is an open concept.'

... "City authorities said that as of earlier this week, 320 couples had been married under the law: 173 weddings between men and 147 between women.

"Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize marriage for same-sex couples with a law approved in July. Mexico City remains the only city in Mexico with a similar law."

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