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Gay marriage: Local battles, national victory

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A tribunal in March rejected any formalization of same-sex marriage in Yucatán. Photo: UNASSE
A tribunal in March rejected any formalization of same-sex marriage in Yucatán. Photo: UNASSE

Mérida, Yucatán —Not knowing that Mexico’s supreme court would usher in same-sex marriage by the end of the week, local human rights groups were pushing for a liberalization of state laws.

In March, the Plenary of the Constitutional Court rejected a petition filed by human rights organizations that alleged an unconstitutional omission by not modifying marriage laws and the family code to include gay couples.

Civil organizations criticized the tribunal ruling, written by Judge Jorge Rivero Evia, for not taking international treaties on human rights into account.

Onlookers in March await the tribunal's decision on same-sex marriage laws in Yucatán. Photo: UNASSE
Onlookers in March await the tribunal’s decision on same-sex marriage laws in Yucatán. Photo: UNASSE

Non-governmental human rights groups Indignación, UNASSE and Oasis of San Juan de Dios expressed concern over “the serious precedent of the judgment, which not only hindered the recognition of the rights of the homosexual population but established serious barriers in the interpretation of human rights.”

Magistrates Ingrid Priego Cárdenas, José Rubén Ruiz Ramírez, Marcos Celis Quintal and Santiago Altamirano Escalante were the only judges in favor of recognizing gay marriage. The remaining seven rejected the action.

But the Mexican Supreme Court last week expanded on its previous rulings favoring marriage equality, invalidating state laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals as discriminatory.

To overcome the state marriage laws, same-sex couples have had to obtain a court order, which results in unequal results. Four male couples and two female couples in August 2013 were denied marriage licenses. After they applied for individual injunctions before Yucatecan courts, the lesbian couples and one of the male couples were eventually approved; all three couples were married by the following February. Why three male couples were denied licenses is not clear.

Sources: Indignación, UNASSE, Desde el Balcón, Wikipedia

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