Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mexico High Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

Exciting news from south of the border today! Apparently the Mexican Supreme Court has issued a unanimous ruling striking down a same-sex marriage ban from the state of Oaxaca in such a way that it is very likely that marriage equality will become a universal right in the country in the very near future.

Latin-American marriage blogger J. Lester Feder reports:
The court ruled on behalf of three same-sex couple seeking to marry in the southern state of Oaxaca. The court had already ruled in 2010 that gay marriages performed under a Mexico City ordinance had to be recognized nationwide. With this precedent, the remaining bans on gay marriage in most Mexican states could quickly fall.
The court’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutionally discriminatory is partly based on a February ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that governments can’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, Karen Atala Riffo y Niñas v. Chile.
This case could have repercussions outside of Mexico—by expanding this precedent to include the right to marry, courts in other Latin American countries that recognize the Inter-American Accord on Human Rights could follow this precedent and determine that marriage rights are also protected in their countries. And the Inter-American Court itself could be more likely to recognize a right to marry—a case brought by three couples trying to strike down Chile’s ban on gay marriage has already begun making its way through the international judicial system.
An even more amazing part of this story is that the original case was brought by Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, a law student. His story is profiled here.

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