Yesterday, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City must be legally recognized throughout the country.
The justices, who supported the decision 9-2, based their ruling on a constitutional provision that requires contracts to be binding in all 31 states. Other regions are not, however, obligated to pass marriage-equality measures themselves.
This ruling does not immediately eliminate marriage statutes limiting unions to a man and a woman—the Mexican Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to strike down state laws like that en mass as the United States Supreme Court does. But the lawyer who brought the case, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, said before the ruling that victory would mean the beginning of the end for bans on same-sex marriage.
Passed in March, Mexico City’s marriage measure confers equality in adoption, healthcare and inheritance rights for gay and straight couples. It’s not immediately clear how the various provisions will be interpreted throughout the country.