Same-sex marriage in Chiapas
|Legal status of same-sex unions|
* Not yet in effect, but automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal
Various LGBT activist groups delivered documents to the executive and legislative branches of government and the State Board of Human Rights on 15 February 2012, recommending amendments to the marriage laws of Chiapas to comply with federal anti-discrimination provisions. On 29 November 2013, human rights activist Diego Cadenas Gordillo sent Congress a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and reform the Civil Code and Civil Procedure of the state. The proposal was rejected on 13 December 2013, citing that "popular initiatives" must be supported by 1.5% of the electorate, or 50,500 voters. On 3 January 2014, an injunction was filed before a federal judge because of the refusal of Congress to act on the initiative. The judge rejected the injunction, and shortly thereafter an appeal was filed with the Twentieth Circuit Court. In November 2014, Gordillo filed a request for formal intervention by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), claiming that neither the state Congress, Governor Manuel Velasco Coello nor the State Commission of Human Rights had responded to the discriminatory laws banning same-sex marriage in Chiapas.
After clashes between the Mayor of Chilón and religious groups in January 2014, activists filed a complaint with the Consejo Nacional para Prevenir La Discriminación (CONAPRED). On 27 March 2014, Deputy Alejandra Ruiz Soriano from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) filed an initiative to amend 19 articles of the Civil Code and 15 articles of the Code of Civil Procedure to incorporate the concept of marriage as "the free union of two people for the community of life, where both respect, equality and mutual aid are sought." In addition, it would have also standardized the concept of cohabitation, regardless of sexual preference.
After inaction on Soriano's bill, a new same-sex marriage bill was presented to the Chiapan Congress in May 2016. According to Unidos Diferentes Asociación Civil (UDAC), a local LGBT advocacy group, the new bill has been taken off the agenda several times and not voted upon due to the actions of the president of the local Congress, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar. Additionally, UDAC has said that the bill does not address the issue of adoption for same-sex couples.
On 25 September 2014, a collective amparo (injunction) was filed. On 3 March 2015, 51 couples won the right to marry as the state's Civil Code was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SCJN). On 26 March 2015, a document sent from the Chiapan Congress was publicised and denounced the ruling and asked for a review, stating in their brief that same-sex marriage was "unnatural" while making comparisons of homosexual relationships to incest. The Chairman of the Board of Congress later denied the filing of the review stressing that only he has the power to make the request and insisting that he never signed any document regarding the issue. However, on 16 April 2015, the media revealed that the state's Judicial Council website received the review request on 23 March 2015 and had already assigned a number to the case. Eventually, in September 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the couples and declared the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
In December 2015, a lesbian couple was able to marry in the capital city of Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In July 2016, the Second District Court, based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, granted another amparo to a same-sex couple. The Court declared articles 144 and 145 of the Chiapan Civil Code unconstitutional. In September 2016, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court declared various articles of the state's Civil Code unconstitutional for limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.
2017 Supreme Court ruling
On 6 April 2016, an action of unconstitutionality was filed before the Mexican Supreme Court. The action sought to legalize same-sex marriage in Chiapas, similarly to Jalisco (where the Supreme Court struck down that state's same-sex marriage ban in a unanimous ruling in early 2016). On 11 July 2017, the Court ruled that the man-woman definition of marriage in the Chiapas Civil Code was unconstitutional, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in the state and specifying that an amparo is not required. The first same-sex marriage ceremony celebrated in Chiapas following the ruling occurred in late July 2017, though the couple still married using an amparo. The ruling would come into effect upon publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación). On 30 October 2017, the ruling still not published, the Civil Registry began nonetheless accepting marriage applications from same-sex couples. The first couple to marry (without an amparo) did so in San Cristóbal de las Casas that day. The ruling was officially published on 11 May 2018.
Officials from the state later confirmed that same-sex couples are allowed to adopt.
From December 2017 to June 2018, more than 300 same-sex marriages were performed in Chiapas. Most of these marriages were carried out in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Tapachula and Comitán. Additionally, many couples came from other states (including from Tabasco, Veracruz and Oaxaca).
A 2017 opinion poll conducted by Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica found that 39% of Chiapas residents supported same-sex marriage, the second lowest in the entire nation. 58% were opposed.
According to a 2018 survey by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), 59% of the Chiapas public opposed same-sex marriage, the highest in Mexico.
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- (in Spanish) Parejas gay en Chiapas podrán adoptar, acceder a la salud…
- (in Spanish) Se han realizado en Chiapas más de 300 matrimonios igualitarios
- (in Spanish) Encuesta nacional 2017, Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica
- (in Spanish) #Data | ¿Quién está en contra del matrimonio gay?