In its 9 to 2 decision the court rejected federal prosecutors’ arguments that the law was detrimental to children. It is the latest defeat for the country’s conservative government which had challenged the city’s law.
Lawmakers in the country’s capital approved the gay marriage law in December and couples began marrying in March. About 320 gay couples have married so far, city officials announced two weeks ago. Previously, the city recognized gay couples with civil unions but banned gay couples from adopting.
The country’s federal government, which is controlled by the conservative PAN Party, had appealed to the Supreme Court. But the court has cited with the city in three separate decisions.
Two weeks ago, the court declared the gay marriage law to be constitutional, and last week, in a similar 9 to 2 vote, it said that while states are not obligated to legalize gay marriage, they must honor the marriages performed in Mexico City, in effect, legalizing gay marriage recognition throughout the country.
“There is no significant difference between heterosexual or homosexual parenting,” Justice Arturo Zaldivar said last Thursday.
Mexico City lawmakers approved the law over the strong objections of local PAN leaders and the Roman Catholic Church.
Mexico’s Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Noberto Rivera Carrera, called the law “immoral” and “reprehensible.”
Mexico City was the first autonomous government to legalize gay marriage in Latin America, and several countries in the region have followed its 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 unions.