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Mexico City mayor sues Guadalajara bishop over gay marriage remarks

Marcelo ebrard notimex Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of Mexico City on Wednesday filed a civil suit claiming defamation against Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara, upping the ante in a high-profile political spat over gay marriage in Mexico that pits emboldened secular institutions against the country's influential Roman Catholic clergy (link in Spanish).

The suit comes after Ebrard demanded that Sandoval retract suggestions made over the weekend that Mexico's Supreme Court justices were bribed for their recent landmark rulings in favor of gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in the Mexican capital.

Sandoval made the allegations on Sunday during an event in Aguascalientes state. He also used a slur against gays while decrying the recent high court decisions that were called victories for the gay-rights community, as L.A. Times correspondent Tracy Wilkinson analyzes in this story.

Church authorities were not backing down. Sandoval said Monday he would not retract his comments, and the archdiocese in Guadalajara later said it had proof of the allegations against the Supreme Court justices (link in Spanish). Statements in support were issued from the archdiocese in Mexico City, while the Bishops' Conference of Mexico also said it supports Sandoval.

In the secular institutional corner, the Supreme Court censured Sandoval's statements unanimously, and Ebrard issued a stark warning to the highest-ranking prelate of Mexico's second-largest city: "We live in a secular state, and here, whether we like it or not, the law rules the land," Ebrard said, according to La Jornada (links in Spanish). "The cardinal must submit to the law of the land, like all other citizens of this country."

By wide majorities, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of gay marriages in Mexico City, ruled that those marriages must be recognized in Mexico's 31 states, and upheld a portion of the Mexico City gay-marriage law that permits same-sex couples to adopt children.

Wilkinson reports:

The court hewed to Mexico's strict separation of church and state and said the constitution did not indicate that marriage had to be defined as the union of a man and woman. To deny gay couples the right to adopt, the court said, would amount to discrimination.

"There is nothing that indicates that homosexual couples are less apt parents than heterosexual ones," Justice Arturo Zaldivar said in televised proceedings this week.

The adoption provision was upheld 9 to 2 in a vote Monday, as proponents erupted in cheers of "Marriage and adoption! For all the nation!"

Mexico City's left-dominated legislative assembly voted to allow same-sex marriage in December. The law went into effect with much city-led fanfare in March and then faced a challenge in the Supreme Court from the conservative-led federal government. An estimated 320 same-sex couples have wed in Mexico City since the law was enacted, but the city government has offered no figures on adoptions by gay couples, or whether any have been requested.

The federal agency that oversees adoption of children in Mexico has never specified that an adoptive parent must be married or live in an opposite-sex household, notes the daily Milenio (links in Spanish).

The new law is in fact turning attention to the enormous bureaucratic difficulties that characterize the adoption process in Mexico, reports La Jornada. One heterosexual couple told the paper their adoptive process was "very long, complicated, and traumatic." The couple described sitting in interviews as long as seven hours, and requirements that were either contradictory or not mentioned beforehand.

Another woman identified as Karina said that interviewers asked "intimate" questions about her sexual history in the presence of her husband. "The whole process is designed so that people will get discouraged and leave," Karina told the paper.

La Jornada also published a short piece describing requirements for adoption in Mexico. Here's a link to an automated translation in English.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard. Credit: Notimex via

Comments () | Archives (13)

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Good for Mexico! No more institutionalized discrimination and cruelty against human beings! Stop it! U.S.A. you have the opportunity to prove what the constitution and so many so-called Christian Conservatives claim - that they want to live in a country where there is freedom, liberty and you may pursuit happiness!!! Do the right thing! Secular state!!!!!- your so called God Laws are for YOU to follow- this is not a theocracy- That is for the people you seem to fear the most in the mid east!

Constantine, Ever heard of separation of church and state? If you want a theocracy go to Iran.

Constantine, is this a joke?

Kudos to the Mayor!

Onward to full civil and marriage equality rights in the 21st century.
Cheers, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

Are you people insane? Homosexuals are dangerous perverts who rape children. The government of Mexico is evil, and as for the Law, GOD makes the Law, not some politician. GOD defines what crime is, what the punishments will be, what the standards of conduct are, and His Word is final and absolute. I guess you'll just have to find that out the hard way. Think HOT.

You go Mayor Ebrard! I fan you!

The Catholic Church has much to answer for.

Sick, Sick, Sick!

Who would you trust more with defenseless, parentless kids: a decent, hardworking gay or lesbian couple or a lying hypocrite of a Roman Catholic priest? The question is easy for me. The Catholic priesthood is riven with proven pederasts, and the Church hierarchy does nothing but try to cover up for them. When will these dinosaurs finally be relegated to the dustbin of history once and for all?

The cardinal should share his "proof" or shut the heck up.

While we loathe its policies that push hordes of uneducated into our borders, congratulations go to the Mexican government's efforts to release itself from the clutches of Catholocism and bring it into the 21st century.

Their reprehensible disparity between rich and poor could be remedied by giving a bigger slice of the government pie to education--much bigger than the current 2%, which contributes to the poor average education of 7th grade for Mexicans. South Korea has achieved a much higher standard of living than
Mexico because it spends more on education, at the same time maintaining military force against the threat from the North. Yet Mexico's GNP approximately equals South Korea's.

Legalizing, taxing, and regulating drugs in Mexico would at once obviate the expense of fighting the drug cartels, increase tax revenue, and allow greater expenditure on education. I want to see a proud and prosperous Mexico.

Kudos to Mexico City.

Onward to full civil and marriage equality rights in the 21st century.
Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace, Washington, CT, USA.

Catholic Church continues to exhibit its flat earth tendencies.....

Cardinal Sandoval is suspiciously certain that Supreme Court judges can be bribed; is he so angry because his own attempts on this case didn't work?
In any case, we have to be glad that western (secular) governments no longer allow the Roman church to get away with it's traditional approach to dissenters: murder in the mass, torture and brutal execution for the individual.


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Ken Ellingwood
Daniel Hernandez
Efrain Hernandez Jr.
Chris Kraul
Richard Marosi
Tracy Wilkinson