Same-sex Marriage Lawsuit Filed in El Salvador

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A lawyer in El Salvador has filed a lawsuit before El Salvador’s Supreme Court asking for the nullification of Article 11 of the Family Code which defines marriage as “a legal union between a man and a woman”.

Labeling the law as discriminatory and explaining the lack of gendered terms used in Article 34 of the Constitution’s summary of a marriage, the suit seeks to allow same-sex couples the right to wed.

Reacting to the lawsuit, several members of the Legislative Assembly dismissed the notion of allowing same-sex marriage, citing Article 11.

In recent years, several attempts by the Assembly’s conservative parties have been made to add a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage, but the second-largest party in the Assembly continued to deny them the 2/3 majority of votes required to ratify the ban.

The latest attempt led by a 35-member strong right-wing party in 2015 reached the first threshold of at least 43/86 votes in favor, but the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front’s 31-seat abstention resulted in the ban’s current state of limbo as 56 votes in favor are required for the ratification of a constitutional amendment.

El Salvador is the latest Latin American country after Mexico (on a state by state basis), Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Venezuela to sue for marriage equality.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in El Salvador, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_El_Salvador

Mexico: Morelos Approves Same-sex Marriage Bill

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Morelos becomes the next Mexican state to approve a same-sex marriage bill today when their Congress voted 20-6 in favor of modifying the state constitution to make marriage gender-neutral.

As the proposal is a state constitutional change, it must be ratified by Morelos’ 33 municipalities before it can become law and allow same-sex couples to marry.

Morelos will join Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Quintana Roo as places in the country that have given the green light to same-sex marriage.

For all other states, couples must file an injunction that Civil Registries will respect. The injunctions take time and are expensive even though they are always successful.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Mexico: Michoacán Becomes 9th State to Approve Same-sex Marriage

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Michoacán’s Congress voted 27-0 with 8 abstentions today to update their Family Code and make marriage gender-neutral.

For months, members from all the parties in Congress told the press that the law was unstoppable and the right thing to do as both an order from the Supreme Court and as a rights issue.

After a judge last year gave the previous Congress a deadline to pass a marriage bill, the Legislature asked for more time and passed a domestic partnership law instead.

The Mexican Supreme Court already ruled that separate but equal was discriminatory and unconstitutional so activists filed a lawsuit shortly after the passage of the partnership law.

The threat of Supreme Court action and a new seemingly friendlier make up of Congress increased pressure on the state to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

The law will come into effect after it is promulgated and printed in the state’s Official Gazette.

Michoacan is the 9th region to give same-sex couples the green light after Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Chihuahua, Coahuila, most municipalities in Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Quintana Roo and Sonora.

For all other states, couples who wish to marry can file an injunction that the Civil Registry must repect, but the process is timely and expensive.

Marriages conducted in Mexico are recognized on both a state level and a federal level.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Mexico: Sonora Becomes the 8th State to Give Same-sex Marriages the Green Light

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The head of Sonora’s Civil Registry Department announced today that same-sex couples will no longer need a court order to marry despite current matrimonial laws specifying that marriage is only for heterosexual couples.

A fellow Civil Registry official confirmed that Sonora has been processing marriage applications freely this month and urged Congress to pass a bill to make marriage gender-neutral.

Sonora joins Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Quintana Roo as the Mexican jurisdictions that allow same-sex couples to wed without the need of a lengthy and expensive court injunction.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Mexico: Campeche Becomes 7th State with Same-sex Marriage

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Campeche became the latest Mexican state to approve same-sex marriage today when their Congress voted 34-1 in favor of a marriage bill submitted by the Governor.

Despite recent protests from religious groups, several members of Congress told the media that the reform in Campeche’s Civil Code was necessary as both an order from Mexico’s Supreme Court and as an issue of rights.

The bill will be promulgated and published in the state’s official gazette in the coming days.

Campeche joins Mexico City and the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Quintana Roo as the Mexican jurisdictions that allow same-sex couples to wed without a court injunction.

For more information on the journey to marriage equality in Mexico, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico

Colombia: Constitutional Court Finalizes Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; Weddings Soon

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On April 7th, Colombia’s Constitutional Court defeated a proposal from one of its conservative magistrates that would have barred same-sex couples from marrying on a vote of 6-3.

The LGBT community and many supporters around the country rejoiced, but a successful counter-opinion from another magistrate in favor of expanding the right to marry was needed to make the court order telling Civil Registries and notaries to approve marriage licenses binding.

Today, once again on a vote of 6-3, the Constitutional Court sided with same-sex couples and made Colombia the next country with marriage equality with the finalization of their ruling.

The Court declared same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right and ended the legal battle between the plaintiffs and the Inspector General who sought to annul their marriages after a handful of civil court judges registered the pairs as spouses when they applied for a “solemn union” contract in 2013.

Solemn unions came to Colombia as a result of a 2011 Constitutional Court ruling that gave Colombia’s Congress two years to pass a law recognizing same-sex couples, but the Legislature failed to do so. The ruling then came into effect in 2013 and afforded couples some of the rights of marriage.

The parties who registered the couples and were mentioned in the marriage lawsuit that was studied this month, stated that the 2011 verdict was vague in its usage of “solemn unions” and thus interpreted the couples as married.

Following the publication of today’s ruling, which shall be within 10 days, couples will be able to marry in the next few days and neither registries, notaries, nor judges who handle marriage licenses will be able to use conscientious objection as a reason to turn down applicants.

Colombian Constitutional Court Legalizes Same-sex Marriage

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On a vote of 6-3, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has extended marriage equality to the South American country.

The marriage case began in 2013 after several civil court judges registered “solemn unions” between same-sex couples as marriages.

A previous ruling in 2011 gave Congress two years to pass a law recognizing same-sex couples, but as the Legislature did not approve a bill, couples in Colombia won the ability to register their unions in 2013 when the ruling went into effect.

After some civil court judges registered the marriages in 2013, Colombia’s Inspector General asked the higher courts to intervene and annul the nuptials and the issue found its way to the 9 magistrates of the Constitutional Court.

A conservative magistrate wrote his opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman and that same-sex couples should retain the solemn union scheme. He also argued that is should be Congress who changes the matrimonial laws and not the Court. The plenary voted 6-3 to reject his opinion and then turned to a counter-opinion from another magistrate in favor of extending marriage rights.

A Constitutional Court memo says that the counter-opinion will be voted on in the next session and a similar 6-3 verdict in favor of same-sex marriage is expected. Either way, marriage equality already prevailed today and the vote is mostly seen as a formality.

The Constitutional Court made Colombia the next country with marriage equality by ordering Civil Registries to serve any couple who requests a marriage license and warned that not even judges can deny the celebration of equal marriage rights in the country.

-¡Felicidades, Colombia!