Nayarit Makes It Five in Mexico

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Nayarit has become the fifth Mexican state to allow gay couples to marry. On December 17 2015, Nayarit’s Congress voted 26-1 to grant this right and the law was promulgated on December 22nd. Nayarit joins the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero and Quintana Roo, as well as Mexico City as shown on the Wikipedia map below.

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Despite five places freely allowing gay nuptials, Nayarit was only the second state after Coahuila to make the change through the Legislature. The remaining three have allowed couples to tie the knot only after governmental intervention. Couples in Quintana Roo discovered a legal loophole in 2011 and after initial resistance, the secretary of state proclaimed that gay couples may marry there. In the summer of 2015, Chihuahua’s Governor issued an executive order telling Civil Registries to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The move was a result of several court injunctions asking not only for the right to marry but also requesting monetary compensation from the state. Some weeks later, Guerrero’s Governor also issued a similar order. Though executive orders are a step in the right direction, using a halfway method means that gay spouses in Chihuahua, Quintana Roo and Guerrero cannot enjoy all the benefits that heterosexual couples receive until the same-sex marriage laws are codified into the states’ Civil Codes by their respective Congresses.

On the issue of adoption, only Coahuila and Mexico City (in purple) have updated their laws in recent years, although a 2015 Supreme Court decision ruled that homosexuals are fit to be parents and any denial of parental rights would go against the Constitution and is based solely on discrimination.

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The momentum for equal marriage rights keeps growing as same-sex marriage bills are pending in almost every state while a federal bill was presented in late 2015.

Currently, any marriage performed in Mexico is recognized on both a federal and state level as a result of a ruling from the nation’s top court. Constant references to the Mexican Constitution that protects members of the gay community result in the Court pushing the marriage issue along a little more each time.

In June of 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court continued its support of LGBT by issuing a jurisprudence for all lower courts ordering them to rule in favor of any couple who files a lawsuit to get married. Court injunctions are available to anyone who is denied a marriage license, but the process can be pricey and very time-consuming. This guide to the lower courts is all Mexico’s Supreme Court can do for now as the power to directly move a state’s hand can only happen in Jalisco and Baja California due to the complex judicial rules in that country. Another Court ruling deemed any non-marital partnership, such as civil unions, both discriminatory and unconstitutional if marriage is also not available. Civil unions are available in Campeche, Colima, Jalisco and Michoacán and several congressmen in those states have announced their intention of attempting to approve a gay marriage bill to appease the Court.

Despite the ineligibility to have the Mexican Supreme Court force most states to act, couples from around the country have announced that they will follow Chihuahua’s lead and sue for damages to put more pressure on local governments.

2016 is expected to hold several marriage debates in both the state legislatures and in court.

To see the full breakdown of the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

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