A lesbian couple on Saturday will
become the first gay couple to marry in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
Zaira de la O and Martha Sandoval are
planning to exchange vows before a judge in Guadalajara, the state's
Last November, Jalisco lawmakers
approved domestic partnerships for gay couples (Ley de Libre
Convivencia), a union with limited benefits that is formalized
before a notary, not a judge.
After being denied a marriage license
in March, the couple sought relief from the courts and won, CNN
“We are happy, relishing the moment
we sign, with the same nerves as any couple about to marry for the
first time,” Zaira said.
Much like the United States, Mexican
states individually decide on marriage. Mexico City in 2009 became
the nation's first, and so far only, municipality to legislatively
approve marriage equality. Mexico's highest court declared the law
constitutional and ordered all states to recognize the legal
marriages of gay couples. However, only a handful of states have
moved on the issue. Some, under court order, have allowed marriage,
while others have adopted civil unions.
The women, who are raising a 1-year-old
daughter, were represented in their legal fight by the Committee of
Latin America and the Caribbean for the Defense of Women's Rights
(Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos
de la Mujer, CLADEM).
CLADEM's Guadalupe Ramos said that she
knew of at least five additional gay couples who want to marry in the
“What we hope is that we won't have
to litigate in all of these cases to obtain the same rights as
heterosexual couples,” said Zaira.