Same-sex marriages valid throughout Mexico

by on August 11, 2010  •  In Marriage

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled yesterday that each of the country’s 31 states must recognize the marriages of gay couples in Mexico City, potentially providing full matrimonial rights nationwide. The court had already ruled last week that Mexico City's law allowing same-sex couples to marry,  which took effect in March and has resulted in hundreds of same-sex marriages, was constitutional.

On Tuesday, the court went a step further, ruling 9 to 2 against a complaint from the attorney general’s office, which had said that other jurisdictions should not be required to honor marriages that were performed in Mexico City.

While the court made it clear that state governments were not obligated to enact same-sex marriage laws of their own, it did require them to recognize the legality of such marriages performed in Mexico City.

“What’s going to happen to a same-sex couple” who marry in Mexico City “when they cross the border” to another state, asked Justice Arturo Zaldívar, who voted with the majority, during Tuesday’s discussions. “Does this marriage disappear? They go on vacation and they’re no longer married?”

The court decision leaves uncertainty about which marital rights must be recognized by state governments. But Arturo Pueblita Fernández, a constitutional law professor at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City, said that fundamental spousal rights would apply to same-sex couples across the country, including alimony payments, inheritance rights and the coverage of spouses by the federal social security system, which provides health and pension benefits to most of the working population.

The court is expected to decide tomorrow whether another part of the law, which allows same-sex couples married in Mexico City to adopt children, is constitutional.

[Source: NY Times]


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