The Supreme Court in Mexico has legalised same-sex marriage in a landmark legal ruling.
However, the country doesn’t have equal marriage rights just yet.
A court has decreed that it is unconstitutional for Mexican states to bar same-sex marriages.
As the purpose of matrimony is not procreation, there is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman. Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.”
Whilst no official legislation has been brought forward in parliament to introduce marriage for gay and bisexual couples, the court ruling represents a precedent that will require courts throughout the country to follow suit.
This means that same-sex marriage has effectively been legalised throughout Mexico.
Estefanía Vela, a legal scholar at a Mexico City university told the New York Times of the ruling:
Without a doubt, gay marriage is legal everywhere. If a same-sex couple comes along and the code says marriage is between a man and a woman and for the purposes of reproduction, the court says, ‘Ignore it, marriage is for two people’.”
However, same-sex couples might still run into a few snags because local registrars are not required to follow this ruling; however gay couples denied marriage rights in their states are able to seek injunctions from district judges since the jurisprudential thesis now requires the judges to grant them.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just ignoring the discriminatory code or the local registrar. Even though judges are now required to provide marriage licenses, if a registrar denies a same-sex couple, it is up to that couple to appeal the courts.
That process can cost $1,000 or more and the legal process can take months. While this means marriage is not 100% equal, the recent ruling in Mexico is definitely a step in the right direction.
A number of Latin American countries have allowed same-sex marriage in recent years. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have already done so, whilst Chile and Ecuador are set to do so in the near future.