Gay marriage victory in Mexican Supreme Court, Uruguay set to legalize as well

Gay marriage advocates won a huge victory in Mexico  yesterday.

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled yesterday against a local ordinance in the state of Oaxaca that banned gay marriage. Legal observers are saying that this could lead to the recognition of gay marriages nationwide, as couples in other states sue under the new Supreme Court ruling.

I never cease to be amazed at how many countries, and which countries, around the world are ahead of the US on this basic civil and human right. I grew up being taught that America was the greatest and freest country on earth. We’re pretty great, and we’re rather free. But the -est has been lacking in certain areas (health insurance and gay rights, for starters) for a while now.

First Salon explains the gay marriage ruling:

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Mexico has paved the way for same-sex couples to marry in every one of the country’s 31 states before the U.S. has federal marriage equality.

Gay marriage has been legal in the Federal District, Mexico City, since 2010, and the Supreme Court had previously ruled that those marriages must be recognized nationwide. Wednesday’s ruling struck down a law in the southern state of Oaxaca that denied same-sex couples the right to marry there.

The ruling could have repercussions beyond Mexico’s borders. The couples seeking to marry in the Oaxaca case based their claims partly on protections in the American Convention on Human Rights, which has legal force in many Latin American countries. In saying that bans on same-sex marriage are discriminatory, the court may establish a precedent that could be used by LGBT activists throughout the region.

And this from Animal Politico, apparently a Mexican news site, on the gay marriage ruling:

mexico gay marriage

Mexico via Shutterstock

La Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) eliminó del Código Civil de Oaxaca el artículo 143 que establecía que el matrimonio sólo es entre un hombre y una mujer.

A partir de hoy, se sustituye con la resolución de la Corte, que implica matrimonios “entre dos personas”, por lo que no importa si son de distintos sexos o del mismo….

Por ahora los tres casos son tesis aisladas, pero sientan el precedente para que cualquier pareja del país se ampare para poder ser reconocida como matrimonio.

The article basically says the court ruled that “marriage” is  now “between two people,” regardless of gender, and this should help other gay couples in other parts of the country seeming the right to marry.

Basically, as After Marriage Blog explains, in Mexico the Supreme Court does not have the power to simultaneously strike down laws across the country, but this victory sets the stage for gay marriage victories across the country now:

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.

I’m still blown away that in traditionally Catholic countries, and Latin countries to boot, marriage equality is proceeding ahead of the US. Simply amazing.  Oh, and a friend tells me that Uruguay is on the way towards legalization gay marriage legislatively.  It should pass the Chamber of Deputies on December 11 by a healthy margin, then go to the Senate early next year and do even better.

Gay marriage is now legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, south Africa, Spain, Sweden and Mexico (marriages can only be performed in Mexico City, but they’re recognized nationwide, and yesterday’s decision could lead to nationwide marriage rights soon).

Amazing.  Never thought I’d see it in my lifetime.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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