Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down by Mexican High Court
Mexico's Supreme Court said on Monday that same-sex couples have the right to marry and laws that prohibit gay couples from tying the knot are unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to BuzzFeed.
In a sweeping decision, the ruling strikes down a ban on gay marriage in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The ruling also cites two groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court civil rights cases, Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. the Board of Education and Minister Arturo Zaldivar Lelo De Larrea urges the U.S. Supreme Court to support marriage equality as well.
"The historic disadvantages that homosexuals have suffered have been amply recognized and documented: public scorn, verbal abuse, discrimination in their places of employment and in the access of certain services, including their exclusion from certain aspects of public life," the ruling reads. "In comparative law it has been argued that discrimination that homosexual couples have suffered when they are denied access to marriage is analogous with the discrimination suffered by interracial couples at another time."
The ruling may not come to a surprise to some as the court announced in December that it would order Oaxaca to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples that had filed a lawsuit. It should be noted, however, unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, Mexico's court does not have the power to simultaneously strike down laws throughout the country. Nevertheless, the ruling does set a precedent and there is a possibility Mexico could be the next country to fully legalize gay marriage.
"It can be said that the [other] models for recognition of same-sex couples, even if the only difference with marriage be the name given to both types of institutions, are inherently discriminatory because the constitute a regime of 'separate but equal,'" Zaldivar wrote in the ruling. "Like racial segregation, founded on the unacceptable idea of white supremacy, the exclusion of homosexual couples from marriage also is based on prejudice that historically has existed against homosexuals. Their exclusion from the institution of marriage perpetuates the notion that same-sex couples are less worthy of recognition than heterosexuals, offending their dignity as people."
In 2009, Mexico City legalized same-sex unions and the Supreme Court ruled that the marriages must be recognized around the country. Mexico also currently allows same-sex couples to adopt children. Additionally, the country's government added sexual orientation to its national discrimination laws.
Alex Ali Mendez Diaz, a lawyer who represented the three couple who filed the lawsuit, told BuzzFeed that the delay in the announcing the formal ruling suggests that some of the justices on the court may have been in disagreement. Still, Mendez says the ruling is extremely important.
"Without a doubt, we have made history in Mexico. The next step is to extend this experience to other parts of the country," he told the website.