The Supreme Court of Mexico issued a unanimous ruling Wednesday afternoon that paves the way to universal marriage rights in the country.
The actual ruling won’t be published for a little while, but the gay rights advocates who brought the case are proclaiming that today’s ruling “opens the door to equal marriage in the whole country.”
The court ruled on behalf of three same-sex couple seeking to marry in the southern state of Oaxaca. The court had already ruled in 2010 that gay marriages performed under a Mexico City ordinance had to be recognized nationwide. With this precedent, the remaining bans on gay marriage in most Mexican states could quickly fall.
This ruling does not immediately eliminate marriage statutes limiting unions to a man and a woman—the Mexican Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to strike down state laws like that en mass as the United States Supreme Court does. But the lawyer who brought the case, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, said before the ruling that victory would mean the beginning of the end for bans on same-sex marriage.
(More about Méndez here—he started the case as a law student.)
The court’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutionally discriminatory is partly based on a February ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that governments can’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, Karen Atala Riffo y Niñas v. Chile.
This case could have repercussions outside of Mexico—by expanding this precedent to include the right to marry, courts in other Latin American countries that recognize the Inter-American Accord on Human Rights could follow this precedent and determine that marriage rights are also protected in their countries. And the Inter-American Court itself could be more likely to recognize a right to marry—a case brought by three couples trying to strike down Chile’s ban on gay marriage has already begun making its way through the international judicial system.
Gay and lesbian couples in Washington state can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses tomorrow. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law Wednesday a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in the state. Last month, voters in Washington, Maine and Maryland voted to approve same-sex marriage, making them the first states where gay marriage has passed through popular vote. “This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington,” Gregoire said before signing the measure. “For many years now, we’ve said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington.”
The National Organization for Marriage is pledging to continue its efforts to ensure that companies that back same-sex marriage pay a “price” in Middle Eastern countries that are hostile to gay rights.
The statements came during a NOM conference call Thursday evening, which the organization billed to its supporters as a discussion of the 2012 elections — which resulted in the legalization of gay marriage in three states and the defeat of a gay-marriage ban in a fourth — and of “what’s next in the fight to defend marriage.”
During the call, NOM’s top leaders said they needed to greatly expand their fundraising efforts. They argued that Mitt Romney should have focused more on the same-sex marriage issue, and they blamed Karl Rove for allegedly pushing Republicans and outside groups to focus solely on economic issues.
NOM also suggested that opponents of same-sex marriage would argue in court that Tuesday’s election results were evidence that gays and lesbians do not constitute a “suspect class” and that the Defense of Marriage Act should therefore not be overturned.
The American Independent obtained an invitation to the conference call and dialed in.
More, including audio clips at the site.
SO THERE’S THAT
The Campaign for 20 Million More is an effort spearheaded by Marriage Equality USA to bring together community organizations across the country to educate on the importance of marriage equality and support the four state coalitions this fall in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
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The real world, however, works very differently…
We had Toobin on the show Sunday to talk about the Supreme Court term that started this week. Of the conservatives on the court, Toobin said: “Moderate Republicans have disappeared from the Supreme Court, just as they’ve disappeared from the Congress.”
You can watch the entire segment on our website.
It’s very likely that the Supreme Court will rule on a gay marriage case this term, through a number of Defense of Marriage Act cases that could make it onto the court’s docket.
Last year, Mitt Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage pledge promising, if elected president, to:
nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the constitution… and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution… [and to] defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.
U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin debated former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson last night in their race for the U.S. Senate seat from Wisconsin that was vacated by retiring Senator Herb Kohl. Baldwin, 50, supports marriage equality, and says that she “recognize[s] what the voters of Wisconsin decided back in 2006,” but she also knows “that every year people are thinking about this issue and changing their minds,” and mentioned President Obama’s “journey to support marriage equality” as an example.
“I believe the principles of equality and I certainly support marriage equality,” Baldwin said, respectfully. “I recognize what the voters of Wisconsin decided back in 2006. We know that every year people are thinking about this issue and changing their minds. I was very moved when I saw the President’s interview in which he had talked about his journey to support marriage equality. He talked about the parents of his daughters’ friends and he talked about meeting soldiers serving our country. He talked about all of the conversations along the way that got him to change his mind. I think that’s what’s happening across America.”
Tommy Thompson, 70, was unable to express any thoughts on the issue whatsoever, merely stating he supports the “71 out of 72 counties [that] voted for a constitutional amendment” banning same-sex marriage, and adding, after an uncomfortable pause, “same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Wisconsin.”
Thompson, for those unfamiliar, has come under fire for benefiting financially from Medicare changes he promoted while serving under President George W. Bush as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and “was cited by the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists as part of a report detailing their allegations of politicization of science.”
video clip embedded at the site.
Ginsburg spoke at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She was asked a student-submitted question about the equal-protection clause and whether the nation’s high court would consider it applying to sexual orientation.
Ginsburg said with a smile that she couldn’t answer the question. She said she could not talk about matters that would come to the court, and that the Defense of Marriage Act would probably be up soon.
“I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term,” she said.
The 1996 law has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in New York and is awaiting arguments before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Those oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 27.
Wow, they pulled a Komen!! Remember how long it took Komen to “shift their focus” after they got caught working AGAINST women? Seems that Chick fil A learned their lesson too - or, their attorneys told them that if any of the hate groups they support committed a crime, the Chick fil A assets might be reachable in a lawsuit.
I wouldn’t eat that shit anyway.