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The Constitutional Rights of the LGBT Community in Mexico

Despite the recent “pro-family” marches across Mexico, protesting against same-sex marriage, Mexico continues to move toward marriage equality, and the definition of “Family” to include same-sex couples.

Same-sex weddings have been legal in some states of Mexico since 2010.

On June 3, 2015, there was a ruling in Mexico’s Supreme Court, declaring all states must recognize marriages between same-sex couples. The court ruled in a decision published on 19 June that laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman were unconstitutional.

On 17 May 2016, President Nieto announced he had signed an initiative to amend the Mexican Constitution, to acknowledge as a human right people’s ability to marry “without discrimination for reasons of ethnic or national origins, disabilities, social or health conditions, gender, religion or sexual preferences.”

President Nieto also called for adoption rights for gay couples, which will involve a reform of the civil code.

A civil service is the only marriage recognized by the law, which legally changes your status from single to married. The Mexican marriage is valid in any country that recognizes same-sex marriage. As with all marriages that are performed in Mexico, you may need to register the marriage in your home country.

In Mexico, there are a few legal matters you will need to take care of to ensure your wedding is legal. Check with a wedding planner or the Registro Civil,civil office in the state you plan to marry in, as some states have more requirements than others.

People interested in getting married must be over 18 years old, provide birth certificates (officially translated and notarized), passports, tourist visa, any documents of a previous spouse, for example, divorce papers or death certificate of the former spouse. An application for marriage and documents of a medical exam, including blood tests done in Mexico. You will apply for a marriage license at the Registro Civil in the same state you plan to marry in.

Once you have your civil marriage certificate, you may choose to proceed with a religious or spiritual ceremony.

Some people decide on a religious, spiritual, Mayan or beach wedding here in Mexico and then do the legal civil ceremony back home to avoid the paperwork required for a Mexican civil ceremony.

Foreigners marrying a Mexican national,  may require further documents; contact your consulate or the Registro Civil in Mexico for details as it varies from state to state.

Getting married to a citizen of Mexico, Canada or the USA does not automatically give you citizenship of that country. You are still be required to meet the qualifications of immigration to stay in the country.

Some steps may be eliminated for example if you marry a Mexican National you will receive a one year Temporary Resident visa. The visa may be renewed for another year, and after two years of Temporary Residency the expat spouse will qualify for Permanent Residency, the expat spouse is not required to leave the country to start the immigration process.

It is important, as a foreigner living in Mexico, to inform Immigration of change to your civil status, whether, through marriage or divorce, within 30 days.

Although same-sex marriages are recognized in Mexico, including spousal rights, regarding alimony payments,  and inheritance, any couple living in Mexico, should have a Mexican Will as the government may distribute your estate as they see fit which may not include your partner.

While other states in Mexico must legally approve a marriage license as their marriage laws are being updated, here in Quintana Roo same-sex couples may be married without any restriction.