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    Posted February 20, 2013 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    Mexico's Supremes Strike Down Gay Marriage Ban


    The  Supreme Court of Mexico has struck down a same-gender marriage ban in  three separate cases, ruling that such a ban is unconstitutional. In its  ruling the Mexican Supreme Court cited landmark US Supreme Court civil  rights rulings such as Brown v Board of Education and Loving v Virginia.

    In Loving v Virginia, the US Supremes found that bans on interracial marriages violated the US Constitution. In Brown v Board of Education, the Supremes determined there was no merit in "separate but equal" and prompted the integration of American public schools.

    Citing  the rulings, the Supreme Court of Mexico used the logic in those  rulings to determine that a same-gender ban in the state of Oaxaca  violated that country's constitution. Under Mexican law the Court must  find in five cases that the ban is unconstitutional before the ruling  takes effect throughout the nation. With three cases ruled as  unconstitutional, two more cases must be decided the same way.

    From the Loving v Virginia case, the Mexican Justices drew this conclusion:

    The  historical disadvantages that homosexuals have suffered have been well  recognized and documented: public harassment, verbal abuse,  discrimination in their employment and in access to certain services, in  addition to their exclusion to some aspects of public life. In this  sense … when they are denied access to marriage it creates an analogy  with the discrimination that interracial couples suffered in another  era. In the celebrated case Loving v. Virginia, the United States  Supreme Court argued that "restricting marriage rights as belonging to  one race or another is incompatible with the equal protection clause"  under the US constitution. In connection with this analogy, it can be  said that the normative power of marriage is worth little if it does  grant the possibility to marry the person one chooses.

    Drawing from Brown v Board of Education, the Supremes stated:

    It  can be said that the [other] models for recognition of same-sex  couples, even if the only difference with marriage be the name given to  both types of institutions, are inherently discriminatory because the  constitute a regime of "separate but equal." Like racial segregation,  founded on the unacceptable idea of white supremacy, the exclusion of  homosexual couples from marriage also is based on prejudice that  historically has existed against homosexuals. Their exclusion from the  institution of marriage perpetuates the notion that same-sex couples are  less worthy of recognition than heterosexuals, offending their dignity  as people.

    The  question now becomes if the decision by the Supreme Court of Mexico  will have any impact on the US Supreme Court when the Justices hear  arguments over California's Prop 8 and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act  in March. Traditionally, the top court in the US of A has ignored other  nations' judicial decisions.

    Times  are changing and public sentiment is currently moving toward more  tolerance and acceptance of same-gender couples. A slight majority of  Americans, in most recent polls, indicate citizens believe that there  should be equality in the treatment of all state-sanctioned couples.  Even the US Department of Defense is moving toward equality for same-gender spouse of military members.

    From  the Cornfield, for those, such as I, who are GLBT the rulings in Mexico  were a great victory in the quest for equality for all couples,  same-gender and opposite-gender.



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