Mexico's Supreme Court is expected to
rule on a gay marriage law, possibly as early as this week.
Mexico City lawmakers legalized gay
marriage in December and the law went into effect in March. It gives
gay and lesbian couples all the rights and responsibilities of
marriage, including the right to adopt children. Previously, the
city government recognized gay couples with civil unions, but gay
adoption was banned.
Saying it was duty-bound to protect
children, the federal Attorney General's Office has challenged the
law. The federal government claims the law is unconstitutional
because it “strays from the responsibility of the government to
place a priority on safeguarding the interests of children.”
The federal government is controlled by
the conservative PAN Party. Mexico City lawmakers approved the law
over the objections of local PAN leaders and the Roman Catholic
Mexico's Roman Catholic archbishop,
Cardinal Noberto Rivera Carrera, called the law “immoral” and
Nearly 10% of Mexicans call Mexico City
home, making it the country's most populous city.
City officials have claimed that the
federal government's actions are politically motivated. For
instance, no Mexican state has defined marriage as a heterosexual
union in its constitution. And unlike the United States, there is no
federal law banning gay marriage. Social conservatives fear gay
marriage spreading out from Mexico City as state courts recognize the
marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
The city has expressed confidence the
high court will rule in its favor.
Several Latin American countries have
followed Mexico City's lead. Argentina
approved a gay marriage law last month. Chile,
the last country on the continent to allow divorce, Uruguay, and
Paraguay say they'll consider a gay marriage law. Peru will
debate a bill that recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil