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Jalisco must recognize gay marriages, adoptions

January 28, 2012

Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice has ruled that Jalisco must respect the rights of gay couples who have married or adopted children in Mexico City.

By seven votes to four, the Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge filed by the states of Jalisco and Baja California, who argue that because gay marriage and adoption is only legal in the capital it need not be respected elsewhere.

Their argument was based on Article 121 of the Constitution, which states: “the laws of a state shall have effect only in its own territory and therefore are not binding outside of it.”

But Article 121 also obliges states to respect civil ceremonies registered elsewhere. This was the basis for a previous Supreme Court ruling in August 2011 that all states must recognize same-sex marriages registered in the Federal District.

The Supreme Court decision guarantees that gay couples who have married or adopted in Mexico City but since moved to another state will still enjoy the same rights and legal status as any other family.

Despite legal challenges and vocal criticism from the Catholic Church and the conservative National Action Party (PAN), gay marriage was legalized by 31 votes to 24 by Mexico City’s legislative assembly in December 2009. The right for gay couples to adopt children in the capital was also upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2010.

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