Mexico’s High Court Supports Marriage Equality
The Mexican Supreme Court has upheld marriage equality, rejecting three challenges to a new law in Mexico City as "inappropriate."
The rejected challenges were issued by the governors of three states, Guanajuato, Morelos, and Tlaxcala. The governors all belong to the PAN party, which is politically conservative. The judges found that one state’s laws could not be challenged by other states, nor could laws enacted in Mexico City, which serves as the nation’s capital, reported On Top Magazine on Feb. 19.
The Mexico City law, which goes into effect March 4, gives gay and lesbian families full marriage equality, including the right to adopt.
The PAN governors claimed that the law would have an effect on their own jurisdictions. The Secretary General of Government for the state of Jalisco, Fernando Guzman, opined that, "These reforms could obligate the states and municipalities to recognize marriages between same-sex couples and so, in Jalisco, the same rights recognized for matrimony in its laws would be awarded to them." Added Guzman, "What we are protecting is marriage and children, so that children who are adopted have the right to a family, and a family consisting of a father and a mother." Guzman also submitted a challenge to the law, which has not yet been reviewed by the court.
A fifth state, Sonora, filed a challenge of its own. Federal prosecutors have also taken aim at the law, claiming that is violates the Mexican constitution, which sets out guarantees of equality for citizens of both genders in order to "protect... the organization and development of the family." The federal Attorney General’s Office takes this guarantee to mean that families are, by law, comprised of men, women, and children, and bases its objection to the law on the claim that it "violates the principle of legality, because it strays from the constitutional principle of protecting the family."
The law was the first in Latin America to extend family parity rights and protections to gays and lesbians. In addition to the social justice component of the law, supporters say that it will bolster the region’s economy by attracting wedding tourism. ""Mexico City will become a center, where (gay) people from all over the world will be able to come and have their wedding, and then spend their honeymoon here," Mexico City’s tourism secretary, Alejandro Rojas, told the press last December, when the law was approved.
Although the Mexico City law was a first for Latin America, it was a gay Argentine couple who actually became the first Latin American gay family to tie the knot late last year.