Saturday, June 06, 2015

Mexico Supreme Court: Prohibitions on Same Sex Marriage are Unconstitutional in Every State

Mere weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is to rule on the constitutionality of state bans on same sex marriage, Mexico Supreme Court for the first time has issued an opinion that states that laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional in every state.  The opinion has yet to be released publicly, but the Clerk of the Mexico Supreme Court has written about the ruling in a blog post and indicates the broad application of the opinion.  Do Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia want to be more backward than Mexico (no slight intended to Mexico)?  A piece in BuzzFeed looks at this development south of the border which appears to be yet another major defeat for the Roman Catholic Church and its efforts to inflict 13th century knowledge and beliefs on all.  Here are highlights:
The Supreme Court and several lower courts have already ruled in almost every state that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the Mexican constitution. But because of the Mexican court system’s often confusing technicalities, none of those decisions have been binding in future cases. Theoretically, any court could rule against a couple who has sued for the right to marry even though there have been many cases decided in favor of others couples.

That is no longer true. On Wednesday, Mexico’s Supreme Court issued the first blanket statement that laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional in every state — what is known as “generic jurisprudence.” The opinion is not yet public, but Supreme Court clerk Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega — who worked on one of the early marriage equality suits before joining the court — wrote about the unpublished opinion in a blog post. (Decisions like these are ordinarily published within a week of when they are decided by the court.)

“The law of whatever federal entity that, on the one hand, considers the goal of marriage is procreation and/or defines marriage as celebrating the union of a man and a woman is unconstitutional,” held a Supreme Court panel in response to a suit out of the state of Colima, according to Gonzalez.

It will still take a lot more cases before same-sex couples can marry as easily as straight couples can in Mexico; federal judges must rule five times in each state to create precedent that would lead to full nullification of a local marriage code. And it’s not entirely clear how this process ends, Gonzalez told BuzzFeed News, because this marriage cases still making their way through the legal system are doing so under reforms enacted in 2011 that have never been fully tested.

“We’re playing in a new court,” Gonzalez said.
With South and Central America steadily moving towards marriage equality, the Catholic Church may find that its brand of ignorance and bigotry only has a market in Africa.

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