Mexican Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex couples

The Mexican Supreme Court has effectively upheld marriage equality in that country, according to The New York Times. Mexico City passed same-sex marriage in 2009, and the Mexican Supreme Court upheld the law in 2010 stating that it would be discriminatory to deny Mexican couples the right to marry just because they are of the same gender. After this ruling only two states Coahuila (through legislation) and Quintana Roo (because their local statute does not mention gender) have allowed couples the blanket right to marry, but countless courts have granted couples the right to marry on a case by case basis.

A key player in these developments according to the article is Oaxacan lawyer Alex Ali Mendez who took up cases for couples in his state and then others. This month the Mexican Supreme Court went a step further when it affirmed that state laws restricting marriage to heterosexual couples is discriminatory.

“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,” the ruling said. “Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.”

While the ruling did note discrimination, at the same time, it did not officially strike down the statutes. Thus, if same-sex couples want to marry, they must sue in order to get permission, though now they have the right to do so.  

Although many have been able to get married and advocates are celebrating, some point out that the process is still daunting for couples who cannot afford the $1,000 or more that they need to appeal the civil registry officials that follow their states' statues and deny their applications to marry.

The New York Times reports that several couples have fought with their civil registries and city governments in order to be able to marry.