Marriage Equality Approved In Colima

Jim Burroway

May 25th, 2016

matrimonios-igualitarios-congreso-de-colimaThe Colima State Congress today approved a package of amendments to the state constitution and civil code to provide marriage equality to same-sex couples. The state congress acted on an order by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation to change its local laws to allow same-sex couples to marry in the state. The action today was the culmination of a three-month process of consultations and approvals from the ten municipalities that make up the state. Nine of the ten municipalities approved of the changes.

In 2014, Colima began providing a kind of a registered partnership known as “enlaces conyugales” (conjugal bonds). These partnerships remain valid and can be converted to marriages at the civil registry where they were originally made.

The new marriage equality law goes into effect once it is published in the Official Gazette of the State of Colima.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Colima becomes either the ninth or tenth state in Mexico to provide marriage equality, depending on how you’re counting. Sonora had been issuing marriage licenses since the first of May, following a series of court orders called amparos. But a Civil Registry official announced on Monday that same-sex marriages cannot be performed because Sonora’s Family Code has not been revised. Until then, he insists that he needs yet another amparo. So while marriage equality had been the law in Sonora, that now appears to be on hold.

Last week, the state of Morelos, located just south of the Federal District (Mexico City) began the process of changing its constitution to allow same-sex marriage. And next Tuesday, the congress for the state of México, which nearly surrounds the Federal District to the north, east and west, will vote on a proposal to allow same-sex marriage.


May 26th, 2016

I’ll see if I can help here, as translation of both language and legal systems can be tricky.

First, same sex marriage is legal in the entirety of the Mexican Republic, the question is how much work it will be to get a license. In ten states, it is very, very easy.

In every state of the union that has not passed legislation making it legal to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, such couples can seek a judicial order which then wends its way through the federal judiciary. They will eventually receive an amparo (a judicial order) that will compel civil authorities to issue a license (there is no religious marriage in Mexico).

After 10 identical amparos, the judicial orders become automatic and do not need to wend their way through the courts. Same sex couples will still need an amparo to get their licenses, but doing so will be very fast and cheap. States must still pass legislation and the accompanying regulatory acts required to fulfill the judicial decree, so state legalization is still a big deal.

So, here’s the hierarchy:

Same sex is legal everywhere in Mexico. If you have a license issued in Mexico City, it will be honored in Yucatan.

For same sex couples, getting married is easiest in Quintana Roo, Mexico City, Sonora and other states that have passed legislation requiring clerks to issue such licenses.

It’s not quite as easy in states like Oaxaca, which have reached the required number of amparos to make the court orders automatic, but have not yet passed appropriate legislation. You’ll get a court order within a few days and won’t need to spend a lot of money.

It’s most difficult in states like Yucatan, which have not yet reached the required number of amparos. You’ll have to hire a lawyer and commit significant time and resources to the court case. Or you could just go to another state and get a license, which is valid and recognized throughout the Mexican Republic (by Supreme Court ruling, this recognition is mandatory and unquestionable).

Also, there is no more Federal District. The DF disappeared and has been replaced by Mexico City, which is smaller in population but is politically identical to all other Mexican states. This makes Mexico City the 32nd state of the Mexican Republic and has been a bonanza for PR firms that have rebranded everything that once said “DF” to read “CDMX”. It’s a small-ish detail, but it really did change the way political power is distributed in the gigantic conurbation that is greater Mexico City (vs. the city limits of the city state called Mexico City).

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