The Supreme Court of Mexico has issued a landmark decision that struck down the same-sex marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca. The "unanimous ruling ... paves the way to universal marriage rights in the country," writes former Politico reporter J. Lester Feder at After Marriage.
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 masse 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.
The court’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutionally discriminatory is partly based on a February ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that governments can’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, Karen Atala Riffo y Niñas v. Chile.
Feder discusses the history of the case andanalyzes its potential impact at Salon. Who would have thought that Mexico would have nationwide equal marriage before the USA?
The December 2009 marriage equality law passed by Mexico City's Legislative Assembly took effect in March 2010 and was the first of its kind in Latin America. Since then: Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in July 2010. Brazil's Supreme Court unanimously approved civil unions for same-sex couples in May 2011. A marriage equality and adoption bill was introduced last month in Uruguay.
And today in Colombia: A Senate committee advanced a much-anticipated marriage equality bill. The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Congress must recognize same-sex unions before July 2013 or they would do so.
You May Have Missed ...
MEX House Votes for Same-Sex Couple Benefits
Mexico City Mayor Sues Bishop for Defamation
MEX Catholic: Gay Marriage Worse Than Drug Violence
MEX SupCt: All States Must Recognize Gay Marriages
MEX SupCt: Mex City Gay Marriage Law Constitutional
Same Sex Marriage in Mexico City