Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guanajuato joins Jalisco, Yucatán in allowing gay unions

But lack of uniform national laws on the subject is causing continued litigation

*Updated June 2*
Guadalajara -
The central Mexican state of Guanajuato has joined several other jurisdictions in allowing same sex marriage.

An unidentified female couple wed yesterday in the city of León, where officials registered the marriage after a federal court ordered them to do so. The couple's application for a civil license had originally been denied, prompting them to seek legal recourse.

Same sex marriage has been lawful by statute in the Federal District (Mexico City) since 2010. In 2012 officials in Quintana Roo announced that gay marriage would be recognized on a de facto basis. Last year Yucatán authorized same sex unions, but only after the state lost a federal court battle on the issue and decided not to appeal. In July a state judge said "Yucatecans are not ready for gay marriage," provoking much controversy.

In Michoacán two women married on Mar. 13, after winning a similar lawsuit in a federal court. It was the first officially recognized same sex union in the state's history.

In 2013 both Jalisco and its next door neighbor, Colima, said that same sex unions would be afforded legal recognition but would not be called marriages. The constitutionality of that restriction remains undecided, as do legislative limitations on the right of gay couples to exercise other rights enjoyed by persons in heterosexual unions, such as adoption (stories below). Litigation continues in Jalisco.

In December 2012, Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court rejected as unconstitutional a provision of the Oaxaca state civil code which had defined marriage as "the union of persons of opposite sex with the capacity for and purpose of procreation." Mexico's Supreme Court takes another step towards nationwide recognition of gay marriage. The court has also ruled that homosexuals are protected by human rights provisions implicit in Mexico's federal constitution, as well as by others to which the nation has explicitly subscribed in international treaties and conventions.

Mar. 20 - Mexico has explicitly rejected a Vatican policy statement on what constitutes a "legitimate family," noting that its courts and state legislatures will resolve that question in a manner they deem consistent with the nation's constitution and human rights obligations.

Mar. 22 - In December MGR wrote that Jalisco's "gay marriage rules are a morass of inconsistency." That became evident once again today when the Guadalajara marriage registrar denied the license applications of six lesbian couples, on the ground that only men and women are entitled to wed under state law. That very contention has been rejected by numerous federal courts in Mexico, including the Supreme Judicial Court 16 months ago. State authorities said today they will marry the couples if and when a court orders them to - which is what happened in a previous case presenting identical issues. In sum, the state is saying "we'll grant same sex persons civil union status, but if they want to marry, they'll have to sue us first."

Mar. 31 - Campeche, on the Yucatán peninsula, is the latest state to grapple with gay marriage. A lesbian couple armed with copies of previous Supreme Court rulings on the subject has applied for a license and asked the civil registrar to recognize their relationship as a marriage and not as a a civil union, which they said would denigrate their relationship to the status of a mere "commercial matter." Campeche officials told them to return in eight days for a decision. Litigation is probable.

Apr. 21 - A federal judge in Quintana Roo has ordered Tulum officials to marry an American woman and her Mexican partner within a period of eight days. Their legal battle lasted a full year.

June 2 - Jalisco authorities continue denying wedding licenses to same sex applicants. Two women armed with a federal court order were married late last year (first story below), but in 2014 12 other gay couples have seen their requests denied. All of them are seeking legal relief.

Dec. 14 - Lesbian couple wed in Guadalajara, where gay marriage rules are morass of inconsistency.
Oct. 31 - Same sex civil unions now approved in Jalisco - but they won't be called marriage
Apr. 30 - Yucatán federal court orders recognition of gay marriage
Mar. 27 - Same sex marriage arrives at the U.S. Supreme Court - and at the Mexican Supreme Court

May 4, 2012 - Gay marriages will be recognized in Quintana Roo

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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