Mexico City’s Gay Adoption Rights Upheld by Supreme Court

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled by an overwhelming majority on Monday to uphold the adoption rights of Mexico City’s same-sex couples.

States Must Honor Mexico City’s Adoptions
Ruling 9-2, the Supreme Court found that it would be discriminatory to deny same-sex couples the right to adopt once they had been granted the right to marriage.

Given that the Supreme Court had already rejected the argument that same-sex marriage undermines the traditional family unit, the Court found insufficient basis to conclude that same-sex parent adoptions would have an undesirable impact on the so-called traditional family.

Equally, while the issue of child welfare was a central point of discussion, with both federal prosecutors and conservative religious opponents arguing that same-sex parent adoptions would harm children, the Court flatly rejected such a claim.

“Given that the interests of the child must come first, the proposed reform is constitutional,” said Judge Arturo Zaldivar.

Crucially, while the right to adopt is confined to Mexico City, the Court also ruled that, under its own version of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, same-sex parent rights as conferred by an adoption in Mexico City must be honored by all states.

Gay Marriage and Same-Sex Adoption Rights in Mexico City
While Argentina was the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, Mexico City was actually the first jurisdiction in Latin America to do so.

This change came about after the federal district’s lawmakers voted to amend Mexico City’s civil code so that the definition of marriage read “the free uniting of two people”, therein allowing same-sex couples to marry. 

The change to the law, which was enacted in March, was, at the time, rather unique in its scope in that, by amending the civil code in this fashion, it also granted same-sex couples the right to adopt.

This change was promptly challenged by the conservative federal government, part of the National Action Party (PAN), who questioned the law’s constitutionality on the grounds that it threatened the institution of the family.

On August 5, the Court ruled that Mexico City’s gay marriage amendment was indeed constitutional in an 8-2 judgment.

The Supreme Court rejected the argument that gay marriage undermined the so-called traditional family unit, saying that individual jurisdictions, in this regard, must be able to define marriage as they see fit.

This highlighted another question. Should other jurisdictions have to recognize Mexico City’s same-sex marriages even if they themselves do not grant same-sex marriage rights?

The Attorney General argued against such a concession.

The Supreme Court disagreed with the Attorney General by a 9-2 margin, saying that all states must honor those same-sex marriages. The Court stressed, however, that this should not be read as a mandate that all states must legalize gay marriage, a distinction that was made explicit in the ruling.

Cardinal Condemned for Claiming Judges Accepted Bribes
The debate surrounding Mexico City’s gay marriage law has been incredibly heated in the predominantly Catholic country.

The Associated Press reports that, amid the opposition put forth by the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Juan Sandoval, the archbishop of Guadalajara, was unanimously rebuked by the Supreme Court after he publicly suggested this past weekend that they had been paid off by Mexico City’s Administration.

Interestingly, Mexico City’s left-leaning mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, is expected to run for President in 2012. No doubt the Administration’s support for same-sex marriage and pro-choice rights, a law that was also upheld by the Supreme Court when challenged by Mexico’s Attorney General, will feature heavily in the political campaign.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.


Allan Y.
.7 years ago

Keep strong Mexico. You're becoming the country the world should be looking at.

Juan Pablo de la Torre


Yay! that's great!

Jo B.
josie batlles7 years ago

Good for Mexico city! We are all human beings and it does not matter about wether you are gay or straight for goodness sakes! what matters is that a person is good and caring about others and animals and lives their lives in a fair and caring way. As if God really cares wether you are in bed with a man or a woman...I think there many more important issues that deserve more of His attention! We are in the 21st century! interesting and thought provoking article..thank you for sharing x

Heather G.
Heather G7 years ago

I've said this before but I'll say it again because it really IS funny when someone brings up Sodom and Gomorrah. Aaron, do you also think Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans because there was too many drugs and sex going on there?

pam w.
pam w7 years ago

I expect that YOUR god will PUNISH you for being judgemental and unChristian.

Aaron Baker
Aaron Baker7 years ago

HOMOSEXUALITY is an ABOMONATION to GOD. What you ungodly sinners dont realize is the fact that BIBLICAL PROPHECIES are being fulfilled before your very eyes. And the HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA is one of them. This country has become the modern day SODOM and GOMORRAH, and GOD destroyed those cities. What do you think HE will do to this country unless you turn from your ungodly and sinful ways.

Lorin S.
Lorin S7 years ago

Good for you Mexico!

Arild Warud

Great news,thanks Steve.

Jo Hofreiter
Jo Hofreiter7 years ago

Bravo to Mexico City!


William Kirkham
William K7 years ago

Mexico is more progressive than the United States, it would seem. Our conservatives are fast-tracking us back to the dark ages.