Same-sex Marriage Lawsuit Filed in El Salvador

320px-flag_of_el_salvador-svg

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

320px-flag_of_mexico-svg

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

320px-flag_of_mexico-svg

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

320px-flag_of_mexico-svg

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

320px-flag_of_mexico-svg

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

Same-sex Weddings Begin in Greenland Today!

320px-flag_of_greenland-svg

Greenland’s same-sex marriage law went into effect today (April 1st).

The marriage bill, which is an adoption of Denmark’s matrimonial laws, was passed unanimously by both the Greenlandic Parliament and Danish Parliament.

The two-year long journey from the first marriage bill’s submission to marriage equality in Greenland began back in 2014 when the same-sex marriage bill was presented, but put on hold due to Greenland’s ex-Prime Minister having to step down.

After Greenland’s November 2014 snap elections, the marriage bill was approved by the Greenlandic Parliament on a vote of 27-0 in May of 2015. It was then sent to Danish MPs who had to officially approve the proposal due to Denmark’s 2012 equal marriage law stating that Greenland and Faroe Islands, both Danish constituent territories, would not be affected by the 2012 marriage law.

Originally, Greenland’s marriage bill was scheduled come into effect on October 1st, 2015 after receiving a standard three readings from the Danes, but it lapsed because of Denmark’s summer Parliamentary elections. A second, almost-identical bill was submitted to Danish Parliament in October of 2015 where it received universal ratification in January and Royal Assent in early February of this year.

The final vote in Denmark’s Parliament to amend the 2012 law and allow the island to celebrate same-sex weddings was simply a formality and they gladly voted in favor of the bill.

Greenland’s Bishop has welcomed the arrival of a gender-neutral marriage law and the Greenlandic Church worked closely with the government to amend the portion of the Danish law that covered same-sex blessings in religious weddings.

The joint adoption clause that was included in Greenland’s new Marriage Act will go into effect on July 1st.

A recent statement on the Greenlandic Parliament’s website celebrated the arrival of marriage equality:

On 01 April 2016, the latest change of the Marriage Act shall enter into force for Greenland. The change makes it possible for homosexuals to get married – civilly or religiously.

Minister for the Church, Nivi Olsen, says: “We have long waited for this day. To have the opportunity to enter into marriage means a lot to many couples regardless of the gender of one’s partner. I am therefore pleased that a united Parliament adopted in 2010, finally made it a reality. “

The Department for Education, Science, Culture and Church Affairs, in collaboration with the bishop’s office, prepared the practical implications of the amendment, and on Thursday, March 31, the Minister for the Church has officially authorized the new rituals for same-sex weddings in the church.

The Government warmly welcomes this new opportunity and the national church rejoices that we are ready for the new era.

 

Inussiarnersumik inuulluaqqusillunga

(Yours sincerely)

Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Church

Nivi Olsen

Congratulations, Greenland!

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

Guerrero, Mexico: Rights Group Files Lawsuits to Have Existing Same-sex Marriages Recognized

320px-flag_of_mexico-svg

Following some areas’ refusal to recognize same-sex nuptials performed after an order from the former Governor of Guerrero, a state LGBT rights group is now offering legal representation to couples who want their marriages recognized to the fullest.

In June of 2015, the now ex-Governor of Guerrero instructed Civil Registries to allow same-sex couples to marry in the state. He was witness to a mass wedding in Acapulco the following July, but in January of 2016, the head of Acapulco’s Civil Registry dismissed the legality of the weddings observed since then due to the Guerrero Civil Code retaining the heterosexual definition of marriage, and stated that they would not be recognized by the Registry.

During a press conference for the planned mass wedding on Valentine’s Day, the head of the State Civil Registry Department announced that all marriages performed in Guerrero since the executive order are legally valid, although the recognition and act of performing them falls on each municipality within the state.

In Mexico, same-sex marriages are recognized on both a state and a federal level and couples can always turn to the court system to obtain an injunction in any place in the country that does not perform same-sex weddings, but the process can be both timely and expensive. Only Mexico City and the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, some registries in Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Quintana Roo perform marriages freely.

Earlier this month, the Guerrero Association of Gays and Lesbians announced their intention of taking Civil Registries to court. The first case mentioned at the press conference was that of a lesbian couple who married in Acapulco a month before the Civil Registry’s statement against the recognition of marriages brought about by the Governor’s order. A district judge ruled for the couple and the attorney representing the women says that four more suits are in the works.

Although seen as a good first step, having states issue marriage licenses through executive orders can run the risk of causing distress to couples if state leaders or registry department heads change and are replaced with people not open to the idea.

A bill to codify and change the matrimonial language on the state’s books to gender-neutral is currently stalled in Congress. The passage of the bill would erase any hurdle for obtaining a marriage license and guarantee that the couples have all the benefits of heterosexual spouses.

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