Updated 09:00 AM EST, Mon, Jan 25, 2021

Mexico Gay Marriage Legalized Weeks Ago! Here's How The Silent Move Was Made

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Mexico's Supreme Court silently legalized same-sex marriage this month.

The low-key ruling, which the nation's highest court quietly published as a jurisprudential thesis, indicates that "defining marriage as a union only between a man and a woman is discriminatory and in violation of Mexico's constitution," NPR reported. This month's decision "follows a number of court decisions in the past year that pointed in the same direction," the news outlet explained.

In the past, gay marriage in Mexico had been difficult to accomplish, the news outlet noted. Victor Manuel Aguirre and Fernando Urias, a same sex couple who are residing in Mexicali, said that they tried four times in the past two years to wed each other at city hall. Each time, the pair was accosted by protesters, hostile local officials, and legal obstructions.

Aguirre and Urias gave their case to Mexico's highest court, which ruled a decision in the couple's favor. They finally married on January 17, NPR added.

Another couple, Hiram Gonzalez and Severiano Chavez, also wed last year in the northern state of Chihuahua, The New York Times reported. Like majority of Mexican states, Chihuahua only allows marriage between a man and a woman.

"When I heard the judge pronounce us legally married, I burst into tears," said Gonzalez, as quoted by The New York Times. Mexico now joins the gradually growing list of Latin American nations allowing same-sex unions, such as Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Chile and Ecuador, meanwhile, granted same-sex civil unions this year. In addition, Colombia now gives gay couples plenty of the rights similarly granted to heterosexual married couples.

However, NPR noted that Mexico's Supreme Court ruling "did not go so far as to invalidate state laws," adding that "local city clerks can still refuse to grant a marriage license" to gay pairings. It is up to the couples to appeal the decision to the courts. Urias admitted that the ruling was imperfect, but "it will be much easier and much faster" for couples than it was for him and Aguirre, the news outlet added.

"Without a doubt, gay marriage is legal everywhere," said Estefanía Vela Barba, an associate law professor at Mexico City's CIDE university, as quoted by The New York Times. "If 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, 'Ignore it, marriage is for two people.'"

Vela Barba said that Mexico's Supreme Court specifically opposed to state laws saying that the purpose of marriage is procreation. According to Vela Barba, the statements are "incorrect" and "discriminatory," NPR added.

"So for all purposes, there is no reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage because they can perform what marriage is about ... helping each other out," she explained, as quoted by NPR.

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