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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews Around the Republic of Mexico 

Mexico Could Be One Step Closer to Marriage Equality

June 9, 2015

Last week, the Mexican Supreme Court declared laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying in any state in Mexico are unconstitutional. The Court's official statement is expected this week.

The Supreme Court in the US is not the only court discussing same-sex marriage this month. Mexico's Supreme Court clerk Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega has indicated the Mexican Supreme Court on Wednesday June 3, 2015 declared laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying in any state in Mexico are unconstitutional.

The official statement by the Court is expected this week, as is their custom. According to this ruling the federal law stating the goal of marriage is procreation and/or defines marriage as celebrating the union of a man and a woman is unconstitutional. This ruling was in response to a case in Colima.

Unlike the United States where a single marriage rulings applies broadly to all citizens, individual couples in Mexico get an amparo which relates specifically to their case. Five is a magic number in the Mexican legal system. When five amparos have been issued in a state, a legal precedent is then established and marriage equality is achieved.

The Supreme Court has now ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the Mexican constitution in 5 states. Along with previous rulings from Oaxaca, Baja California, Sinaloa, and the State of México, the Supreme Court ruling forms a new "generic jurisprudence" binding on all judges. This ruling does not bind state registrars as registrars still have some discretion. Therefore same sex marriage is not binding throughout Mexico, yet. However, judges can order the registrars to do their job, as has already been done in several states, including Baja California.

So far these jurisdictions in Mexico have marriage equality: Federal District, Coahuila, and Quintana Roo. These jurisdictions have had their marriage bans stricken by Mexico's Supreme Court, and now must comply with marriage equality: Oaxaca, Baja California, Sinaloa, State of México, and Colima.

Here is a comparison of the same sex marriage issue in Mexico versus the United States according to J. Lester Feder, who covers global LGBT issues for BuzzFeed News. Some southern Mexican states have resisted marriage equality, but there hasn't yet been the same major backlash against same-sex marriage as there has been in the United States. Mexican couples have not rushed to marry as in the US, nor have conservative groups organized major protests in Mexico. Mexico has no prominent national LGBT rights organization pushing the marriage agenda as in the US but even the Catholic Church has done relatively little. Several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, have either recognized same-sex marriages or appear close to doing so.

The Mexican Supreme Court has generally been very supportive of LGBT rights. Mexico overall has an very gay friendly reputation worldwide. Why is this important? LGBT tourism (buying power) is valued at $830 Billion in 2013. The LGBT travel to destinations that are safe and have laws that do not discriminate against them. 94% of LGBT state that the country's laws influence their travel destination choices. Our chances are much better in attracting the LGBT community if we recognize same sex marriage and have a gay friendly reputation. These are some of the historic decisions issued by the Mexican Supreme Court in support of the LGBT community.

On August 18, 2014 The Mexican Supreme Court (SCJ) issued a landmark protocol to guarantee the rights of the LGBT community and their access to justice in Mexico. The "Protocolo de Actuación" released by Chief Justice Ministro Presidente Juan N Silva Meza is expected to be a guide for judges and all those who administer justice in cases involving sexual orientation or gender identity.

Some historic statements made by Presidente Silva Meza are that any regression in human rights is a regression in democracy, and we must defend our democracy at all costs. It is our constitutional mandate to protect and ensure both the right of equality and non-discrimination to everyone in Mexico. Everyone has the right to "choose, freely and autonomously, how to live their life." A further historic statement indicates that physical appearance, sexual preferences and public display of affections are protected by the Mexican Constitution, and therefore the judges are required to resolve cases concerning the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people based on a gender and sexual diversity perspective.

GAY PV is Mexico's gay magazine and travel guide for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico's #1 Gay destination. GAYPV features complete event listings, news, interviews, and around town photos of gay and friendly hotels, bars, dining and businesses. Download the travel app when on the go in Mexico.