Five gay and lesbian couples tied the
knot Thursday in Mexico City, the first to marry since a gay marriage
law went into effect in the nation's capital, Mexico's Notimex
news agency reported.
In a brief 20 minute ceremony, the
couples married in the courtyard of the Municipal Palace.
After uniting four couples, presiding
judge Hegel Cortes called the day historic for the evolution of one
of the most important rights. City officials, including Mexico City
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, accompanied the couples as they signed their
official marriage certificates. Amid tears and applause, city
officials handed each couple a bouquet of flowers.
Mexico City's law, approved by
lawmakers in December, is a first for Latin America. Previously, the
city government recognized gay couples with civil unions, but gay
couples were not allowed to adopt. The new law includes all the
rights and responsibilities of marriage, including the right to adopt
In an effort to derail last Thursday's
start of the law, Mexico's federal government appealed to the
country's Supreme Court. The federal Attorney General's Office
argued that the law was unconstitutional because it “strays from
the responsibility of the government to place a priority on
safeguarding the interests of children.”
While the court has yet to review the
federal challenge, it upheld the law in rejecting challenges brought
by the governors of three states controlled by the PAN Party. The
governors had argued that the law would force their state governments
to recognize the marriages of gay couples from Mexico City. The
court, however, said the states did not have the legal authority to
challenge the laws of another state or the nation's federal district
of Mexico City.
After the ceremony, actress Jesusa
Rodriguez and her partner of 30 years, Liliana Felipe, arrived and
explained that their flight had delayed their arrival. The pair were
married by judge Sofia Perez Gutierrez.