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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 14, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 33
Mexican Supreme Court strikes down same-sex couple adoption ban
Section One
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Mexican Supreme Court strikes down same-sex couple adoption ban

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled on August 11 that a law in the state of Campeche barring same-sex couples from adopting children is unconstitutional. The vote was 9-1.

Presiding judge Luis Maria Aguilar Morales said they were looking after the interests of children, according to Latin American TV network TeleSUR.

'I see no problem for a child to be adopted in a society of co-existence, which has precisely this purpose. Are we going to prefer to have children in the street, which according to statistics exceed 100,000? We attend, of course, and perhaps with the same intensity or more, to the interests of the child,' Aguilar said.

The only judge to vote to uphold the ban, Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, said adoption laws should prioritize children, not the couples who want to adopt them.

The challenge to the 2013 Campeche law was filed by the state's human rights commission, which argued it violated constitutional rights to non-discrimination and to form families.

Like its June ruling that state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, the court's decision on adoption does not automatically invalidate the law being challenged. It does, however, give same-sex couples the legal basis to sue for injunctions allowing them to adopt.

Lesbian and Gay marriages were first legalized in Mexico's capital, Mexico City, in 2009, and same-sex adoptions have been allowed there since 2010. Mexico City's marriage law was subsequently upheld by Mexico's Supreme Court.

In addition, same-sex marriage rights are fully recognized in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, and Quintana Roo. In principle, marriages performed in any of those jurisdictions must be recognized throughout the country.

However, the issue has been contentious in the country, where 80% of the people identify as Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church opposes both marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples, but church officials say they will not refuse to baptize children adopted by same-sex couples.

A 2013 survey found that 52% of Mexicans supported same-sex marriage rights, but only 24% backed the adoption of children by Lesbian or Gay couples.

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