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Lesbian couple to make history in Guadalajara’s first same-sex union

September 14, 2013

Mexico took another step toward sexual orientation equality last week as a federal judge granted a lesbian couple from Guadalajara the right to wed.

Guadalajara’s civil registry office had refused to marry Zaira Viridiana de la O Gomez and Martha Sandoval Blanco in March, citing the Civil Code of Jalisco which defines marriage exclusively as the union between a man and a woman.

But de la O and Sandoval argued that this ruling violated a constitutional amendment from June 2011 which banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Following the lead of Mexico’s Supreme Court, which had previously ruled in favor of same-sex couples in Oaxaca under the same legal grounds, a federal judge issued an injunction obliging the Guadalajara civil registry to permit the ceremony.

De la O and Sandoval are now set to make history by becoming the first homosexual couple to be wed in the state of Jalisco. They are also taking legal action in a bid for both to be formally recognized as the parents of their ten-month old daughter – the former’s biological child.

“We take this as a huge step forward toward ending discrimination,” de la O told CNN Mexico. “We’re not a weird stain on society, we are a family, we deserve to have our marriage recognized and to be allowed to register our daughter, because it is the only way we can have all the legal protection we need as a family.”

Gay marriage was first legalized in Mexico City in 2010, while Colima became the first state to formally introduce same-sex unions in July this year. The law in Colima provides homosexual couples with the same rights as married heterosexual couples, while preserving the term “marriage” as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.

Similar legislation has been proposed in Jalisco and the federal court’s ruling will provide encouragement, as well as another legal precedent, for those pushing for equality in the largely conservative state.

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