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Mexico: Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage ban in Oaxaca

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — The Supreme Court of Mexico delivered a unanimous Dec 5 ruling in favour of three gay couples seeking to marry in the state of Oaxaca, potentially opening the door for same-sex couples to marry nationwide, the After Marriage blog reports.

The blog notes that the court had previously ruled, in 2010, that gay marriages performed under a Mexico City ordinance had to be recognized across the country. Still, After Marriage notes, Wednesday’s ruling doesn’t “immediately eliminate marriage statutes limiting unions to a man and a woman” as the court does not have the power to strike down state laws “en masse." also notes that the Dec 5 ruling could have repercussions beyond Mexico, as the couples based their case on protections in the American Convention on Human Rights, “which has legal force in many Latin American countries."

“It’s a big advance [and] a large step for other claims that will surely come in time,” activist and editor Antonio Medina told Salon.

Details of the ruling have yet to be published.

The Oaxaca case was brought by law student Alex Alí Méndez Díaz on behalf of the couples. He was told by activists that the state “wasn’t ready for those discussions."

“So I said, ‘Fine, if the collective won’t do this as a collective, well, I’m the only lawyer [in the group]. I’ll do it,” Méndez Díaz said, according to the After Marriage blog. In preparing the case, Méndez Díaz looked at the court’s decision regarding Mexico City’s ordinance, which as he understood it, does not read family protections under the country’s constitution as referring only to “a family of a father, a mother, and children, but also to whatever other form of family.”

Landing image: After Marriage blog

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