The Mexican Supreme Court has just legalized same-sex marriage, but the country doesnâ€™t have equal marriage rights just yet.
As the United States eagerly waits for the Supreme Court to give a final ruling on whether or not marriage equality will be recognized nationwide, the Mexican Supreme court effectively made same-sex marriage legal in their country. The ruling is technically considered a "jurisprudential thesis" and does not invalidate any state laws that are currently on the books. So what does that mean, and how can same-sex couples get married if the state they reside in has laws prohibiting marriage between two people of the same sex?
According to BuzzFeed, same-sex couples might still run into a few snags because local registrars are not required to follow this ruling; however gay couples denied marriage rights in their states are able to seek injunctions from district judges since the jurisprudential thesis now requires the judges to grant them. In a roundabout way, the Mexican Supreme Court effectively made same-sex marriage legal across the country.
â€œAs the purpose of matrimony is not procreation, there is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman,â€ the ruling said. â€œSuch a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.â€
EstefanÃa Vela Barba, an associate law professor at CIDE, a university in Mexico City, clarified the ruling in a quote to the New York Times. â€œWithout a doubt, gay marriage is legal everywhere,â€ she said. â€œIf a same-sex couple comes along and the code says marriage is between a man and a woman and for the purposes of reproduction, the court says, â€˜Ignore it, marriage is for two people.â€™â€
Unfortunately, itâ€™s not as easy as just ignoring the discriminatory code or the local registrar. Even though judges are now required to provide marriage licenses, if a registrar denies a same-sex couple, it is up to that couple to appeal the courts. According to the Times, that process can cost $1,000 or more and the legal process can take months. While this means marriage is not 100 percent equal, the recent ruling in Mexico is definitely a step in the right direction.
The global trend is leaning towards more and more countries recognizing LGBT relationships. Last month, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by national referendum. Just last week, the German Bundesrat passed a resolution in support of changing the German Civil Code to include marriage equality, and Italyâ€™s Lower House of Parliament passed a motion on gay civil unions. Now, the United States eagerly awaits the Supreme Courtâ€™s decision on whether or not marriage equality should be recognized across the country. The ruling is expected to be announced later this month.Â