By Gloria Careaga Perez
Since 2009, when same sex marriage was legalized in Mexico City, obbstacles faced by same-sex couples to be granted full rights under Mexican law in other states of the country have triggered a flow of lawsuits aimed at contesting the refusal of state authorities to recognize their marriages. These lawsuits, on their their turn, have mobilized a ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court that was issued on the third week of June 2015. The ruling reads that it is unconstitutional to define marriage as an union between a man and a woman and it establishes that states laws restricting marriage to heterosexual persons and links it to procreation are discriminatory.
In a statement issued after the decision the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) interpreted the country’s highest court decision in opening the doors of marriage equality to same sex persons as a historical breaktrhough. This juridical event reflects long decades of struggles aimed at protecting and making visible the fundamental rights of all people, and it contributes to the consolidation of a culture of human rights in a society that must respect plurality and all freedoms.
It should be said, however, that the decision of the Supreme Court has not been well received in many States. Since it has been issued, conservative parties sitting in state level assemblies have criticized the measure and threatenned to impose thir own rules, regardless of the Supreme Court determination. Furthermore the relevance of this historical juridical breakthrough in terms of human rights and respect to plurality did not have the expected visibility in the mainstream national press, which has opted to mainly give voice to the Catholic Church and other conservative groups that disapproved the decision. Fortunately, the arguments raised by these conservative voices are so shallow and homophobic that they are not positively echoing the wider public debate. In any case it is important to strongly appraise the Supreme Court work in favor of the human rights of all and to expand the visibility of the decision and its meaning as wide as possible.
The ruling by the Supreme Court coincided with the adoption of new Mexico City legislation aimed at the protection of transgender and preceded the LGBTQI Pride Parade in the capital. These two major steps forward have been applauded by those attending this celebration that brings together activists from around the country and, most principally, they feed our optimism to continue strugling.