Mexico: Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage

On Aug. 5 Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) upheld a law enacted in the Federal District (DF, Mexico City) last December recognizing same-sex marriages. Eight of the 11 justices voted with the majority; two opposed the marriage equality law and one was absent for reasons of health.

Federal attorney general Arturo Chávez Chávez, representing an administration led by the center-right National Action Party (PAN), filed a challenge to the DF law in January on the grounds that it violated constitutional protections for the integrity of the family. Six of the justices upheld the law on the basis of constitutional guarantees of fundamental rights, while two based their decision on the narrower grounds that the Constitution doesn’t define marriage and therefore leaves the definition to the states. (In most matters of government the DF counts as a state.)

The court was to rule in a week on two more issues in the DF law: adoption by same-sex couples and recognition of the DF’s same-sex marriages by other states. (La Jornada, Mexico, Aug. 6; Jurist, Aug. 6)

The SCJN has leaned to the left in two other recent decisions. In April a five-member panel ruled that two women vendors from the Otomí indigenous group had been falsely imprisoned in Querétaro state, and in June a five-member panel ordered the release of 12 campesinos held in prison since a 2006 confrontation between police and residents of San Salvador Atenco in México state. But in July a full session of the court upheld President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa’s October 2009 liquidation of the state-owned Central Light and Power Company (LFC), which resulted in the laying off of some 44,000 unionized workers.

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 8.

See our last post on Mexico.

DF, or Mexico City