On Thursday, the Mexican Supreme Court heard a case from the state of Jalisco that urged the Justices to immediately strike down the article of the state’s current Civil Code that restricts marriage to heterosexual couples. For a successful outcome, 8 of the 11 judges must rule in favor of gay couples and the decision is expected on Tuesday.
Although court injunctions allow any same-sex couple in the country to marry after the Supreme Court ordered all lower courts to rule in favor of couples last June, the process of obtaining an injunction can be both time-consuming and expensive causing activists to continue the fight against current marriage laws around the nation.
Despite the Mexican Supreme Court always ruling for the LGBT community and issuing several opinions in their favor, they can only force a state’s hand if a lawsuit was filed within 30 days of a law’s passage leaving Jalisco and Baja California as the only two places that can have their marriage laws directly struck down.
Jalisco’s Congress updated its marriage legislation in 2015 to raise the minimum age for marrying and the Supreme Court first had to decide on Thursday if the change constituted a new Civil Code which could be struck down. On a vote of 10-0 with 1 absence, the Court determined that the criteria had been met allowing the Code to come under judicial scrutiny. The Court adjourned leaving the final decision on axing the restriction against same-sex marriage to a Tuesday session. If the plaintiffs receive at least 8 votes in their favor, the section in question of the Civil Code would immediately become obsolete allowing gay couples to marry. The media has claimed that the votes are there to declare the marriage restriction unconstitutional and that Jalisco will become the 6th state to freely let same-sex couples marry next week.
Reports also say that over 100 couples are already preparing to marry if the Supreme Court changes Jalisco’s marriage legislation.
For more information on Mexico’s journey to marriage equality, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico