Making Sense of the Mexico Decision, Ctd. — What is an Amparo?, Ctd.

Jim Burroway

December 7th, 2012

The whole amparo thing is still baffling to us gringos. To get caught up, see Timothy’s post on Mexico’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage here, and my followup on what an amparo is here. I’m now hearing that for an amparo to become binding, it will require five consecutive identical decisions in a row in each state in order for the ruling to become binding for that state. My earlier understanding was that it only took five consecutive identical amparo rulings before it became binding nationwide. Based on this new understanding, Oaxaca needs two more amparos in a row before same-sex marriage becomes a done deal. Unless the legislature changes the law first, which this report (Google translate) indicates that process is now on a pretty good track.

Mexico has thirty states, plus the Distrito Federal, where Mexico City is located. Right now, the D.F. is the only place where same-sex couples can go to get married except for the three couples named in the Oaxacan amparos. Those marriages however are recognized nationwide. We learned yesterday that couples were trying to obtain marriage licenses in Toluca in the state of Mexico, with the aim of filing amparos if their request is denied. I haven’t heard the outcome of that attempt yet. The bottom line appears to be this: Mexico is now in a state-by-state process of providing marriage equality, much like the U.S. But since the process is going ahead with the national Supreme Court’s blessing, its possible that there may be somewhat fewer bumps in the road along the way.


December 7th, 2012

Hi. I’m mexican, but I don’t unterstadn laws very well, so I’m a little bit confused with this anyway. What I can tell you is that, as the U.S., Mexico is a Federation, which means that each state has its own laws, so, yes, much as for you, this is a state by state issue, and due to the recent election process and President change (the new one started his governement just the last week, among a lot of controversy), I don’t think marriage equality will become nationwide in the next years. However, Mexico City’s former Mayor, who supported the LGBT community and that was the Mayor when Marriage Equaliy was achieved in Mexico City, is likely to become a candidate for the Presidence in 2018. If he does, he will for sure have the support of the LGBT community and if he wins, I think there is a big chance that Mexico will have a nationwide marriage equality law. Sadly, I think we’ll have to wait at least 6 years for that. In the meanwhile, I hope amparos will have the power to make some states change its laws… I’m actually from Toluca, State of Mexico, so I’m rather happy that here we’re following Oaxaca’s example =)


December 8th, 2012

This is really helpful. There is a lot of awful reporting on Mexico and when it comes to questions of Mexican law, the reporting frequently gets worse. But BTB got it mostly right, as did the Washington Post and ABC.

It’s important to point out that in Mexico marriage equality is not exactly moving on a state-by-state basis. The reason is simple: there is no equivalent of DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that a marriage license issued in one jurisdiction must be recognized in all jurisdictions. This will make cases related to pensions and health care mere matters of administrative detail.

Just in the interest of keeping your reporting on Mexico well above the average, I’d point out that Mexico has 31 states and a federal district. I’m assuming the sentence saying it has 30 was simply a typo.

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