The Supreme Court of Mexico [official website, in Spanish] ruled unanimously on Wednesday that a law in the southern state of Oaxaca that prohibits same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The case was initiated by three gay couples in Oaxaca. The high court held that Oaxaca's law restricting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to the principle of equality [El Universal report, in Spanish]. The court plans to issue a published decision at an unspecified later date. Currently, same-sex marriage is only legal in Mexico City. The Supreme Court upheld the validity of that law [judgment, PDF, in Spanish; JURIST report] against a challenge by then-president Felipe Calderon [CIDOB profile] in 2010.
Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] remains a controversial issue around the world. Earlier this week an Israeli court granted a same-sex divorce [JURIST report], even though Israel does not officially recognize same-sex marriage. In November Nigeria approved [JURIST report] a bill that criminalizes same-sex marriage. That same month, Malawi changed its position [JURIST report] on suspending its anti-homosexuality laws. Also in November, voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington [JURIST reports] legalized same-sex marriage. In the same election Minnesota voters struck down a ballot initiative that would have outlawed same-sex marriage in the state.