News (World)

Mexicali officials finally allow same-sex couple to marry, ending 18-month fight

MEXICALI, Baja California, Mexico — The first same-sex marriage in Baja California was held Saturday in the city of Mexicali after officials ended an 18-month fight that led to a Mexican Supreme Court order to permit the wedding, reports La Cronica.

Fernando Urias  (left) and Victor Manuel Aguirre, marry in Mexicali on Saturday, January 17, 2015.
Fernando Urias (left) and Victor Manuel Aguirre, marry in Mexicali on Saturday, January 17, 2015. La Cronica

Attorney Jose Luis Marquez Saavedra said the city let Victor Fernando Urias Amparo and Victor Manuel Aguirre Espinoza wed Saturday and he expressed satisfaction that their rights had been upheld.

Saavedra had filed a complaint Friday against Mexicali officials after authorities again blocked the marriage last weekend despite the high court ruling.

Urias said Saturday he too was satisfied the marriage had finally been allowed to go forward, telling local reporters that the case showed that “when people work together, this works.”

When Urias and Aguirre first tried to marry in Mexicali in 2013, the local Civil Registry rejected them, saying Mexico’s constitution recognizes only unions of opposite-sex couples. They then went to the Supreme Court and got an injunction authorizing their nuptials.

Civil Registry officials rejected their petition again, saying bureaucratic procedures had not been followed. On a third try in November, the registry said the couple had failed to attend mandatory pre-marriage counseling.

On January 11, the couple again returned to city hall for their marriage ceremony and were declined for the fourth time due to under a citizen’s allegation that the two men “suffer from madness.”

The accuser was Angelica Guadalupe Gonzalez Sanchez, president of the Coalition of Baja California Families, who with her husband facilitates the mandatory pre-marital talks.

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Saavedra then filed his complaint Friday accusing the mayor, municipal workers and a state employee of failing to fulfill their public duties.

Same-sex marriages have been performed in Mexico since 2010, when Mexico City revised its civil code, and a state legislature followed suit last year in the state of Coahuila.

But in most of Mexico, same-sex couples continue to be denied marriage licenses and are waging battles through the court system.

In Latin America, same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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