Mexican Court Uses American Legal Precedent for Marriage Equality

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com February 19 2013 6:44 PM ET

After Mexico's supreme court ruled that the state of Oaxaca's ban on marriage rights for same-sex couples was unconstitutional in December, the court has now released its official ruling, which cites American legal precedent.

Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea wrote on behalf of the court, which ruled unanimously, using the American legal cases Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. Board of Education to argue for equality, according to Buzzfeed.

"It can be said that the [other] models for recognition of same-sex couples, even if the only difference with marriage be the name given to both types of institutions, are inherently discriminatory because the constitute a regime of 'separate but equal,'" Zaldívar wrote. "Like racial segregation, founded on the unacceptable idea of white supremacy, the exclusion of homosexual couples from marriage also is based on prejudice that historically has existed against homosexuals. Their exclusion from the institution of marriage perpetuates the notion that same-sex couples are less worthy of recognition than heterosexuals, offending their dignity as people."

The court ordered the state of Oaxaca to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples who are legally married elsewhere, who filed suit. Attorney Alex Ali Mendez Diaz represented the three couples, and told the Washington Blade that citing precedent from other countries only occurs when "there is no previous rulings on the subject...These rulings are the first at the national level that supports the topics in the way in which we had planned."

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenges against current marriage laws this spring.