That fight for marriage equality goes on.
Unfortunately, Supreme Court rulings aren’t the end-all solution in the fight for marriage equality. As we discovered earlier this week with American indigenous people, there are legal exemptions and technicalities that can overrule a Supreme Court Ruling bringing in gay marriage to wide areas and nations like the U.S. Unfortunately, the same can be said for Mexico.
According to Fronteras and Rio Salado College’s KJZZ, there are many states in Mexico that openly defy the June 2015 Mexican Supreme Court ruling that “any state law that… defines (marriage) as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.” The news source specifically uses the state of Sonora as an example. The state’s family code defines marriage explicitly as the “legitimate union of a man and a woman.” In addition, it states that gay marriage is “legally impossible.”
“It’s important to note that that 2015 ruling did not invalidate any law in any state,” said LGBTQ rights advocate Alex Ali Mendez. “It’s like a general declaration.”
That said, the Supreme Court ruling did allow for federal court actions called amparos that allow specific couples to get married. In addition, 10 of the 32 states in Mexico have legalized gay marriage before or after the Supreme Court ruling. Then in many others, courts have ruled to eliminate discriminatory language or made administrative changes to stop restricting same-sex marriage. As such, around half of Mexico’s state has marriage equality.
Now, the state of Sonora could be next to join this list. This is thanks to the State Rep. Yumiko Palomares, who is fighting to change the state’s civil and family code.
“(Same-sex couples) invest time, money and effort on something the Supreme Court already ruled on in 2015,” she said during her 2018 campaign. “We as legislators are obligated to carry out these reforms.”
In the meantime, LGBTQ rights groups like Mexico Igualitario are fighting to bring that change to every remaining Mexican state. Mendez, who is the head of the organization, says that there are many ways to get this job done.
“We want to build a new path that doesn’t depend on the will of state legislatures to carry out reforms or not,” he said of those efforts. “When it comes to human rights, we cannot let these rights be violated simply because a state legislature doesn’t agree.”
“Every state has its own rationale, its own tradition, its own culture and its own society’s development,” he said. “Family laws have to address the situation in that society in that era, or that epoch or that time. And they have to evolve at the same pace as society. Family codes are not the way to provide for social engineering.”
Again, the fight continues for marriage equality in Mexico, but hopefully that won’t be the case forever.