This is a guest post by Amy Hsieh, a doctoral student of political science at the George Washington University and a former aide to Taiwanese lawmaker Bi-khim Hsiao.
A Taiwanese court is scheduled to issue a ruling Thursday that could allow the first legal marriage of a same-sex couple.
The suit was filed by Nelson Chen and Kao Chih-wei against the Taipei city government for rejecting their attempt to register their marriage.
Chen and Kao had held a public wedding banquet in 2006, before the civil code was amended the following year to require that marriages be officially registered with the government in order to be legally recognized. Prior to that amendment, marriages in Taiwan were considered legal as long as a public ceremony was held with witnesses present.
A hearing was held on November 29,
Uruguay’s House of Representatives is due to take up a bill to legalize gay marriage this afternoon. If I’m navigating the website right, the debate will be broadcast live here.
The bill’s supporters are confident it will pass. Mauricio Coitiño of the LGBT rights group Colectivo Ovejas Negras emailed me after the vote was scheduled, “We’ll surely be celebrating on Tuesday.”
Coitiño said the bill, which is backed by the ruling party, has the votes for passage in the House. The Senate isn’t likely to vote on the bill until the coming year, but he’s not worried about its fate in that chamber.
If it becomes law, Uruguay will be the second nation in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage through congressional action.
The bill comes to a vote with support from even some politicians on the right. Continue reading
This statement from the Mexican Supreme Court just came across explaining a little about what it meant last week when ruling that three same sex couples from Oaxaca have the right to marry. I’m on a bus and unable to translate it this second, but here it is in Spanish.
México D.F., a 5 de diciembre de 2012
INCONSTITUCIONAL QUE EN OAXACA MATRIMONIO TENGA COMO FIN PERPETUAR ESPECIE, ESO ATENTA CONTRA AUTODETERMINACIÓN DE PERSONAS Continue reading
Alex Alí Méndez Díaz
The Oaxacan marriage lawsuit now pending before the Mexican Supreme Court wasn’t the result of years of careful legal planning. It began with a couple who wanted to get married and a law student who thought he could win in court despite warnings from LGBT activists to drop the case.
The law student, who is now pursuing advanced study in Mexico City, is Alex Alí Méndez Díaz. He told me the story of the case in a coffee shop just off the Zócalo in Oaxaca City the day after the Supreme Court was supposed to have ruled. The court had put off the case for at least another week, so he was still on edge.
Méndez was working as part of the Frente Oaxaqueño por el Respeto y el Reconocimiento de la Diversidad Sexual, an LGBT activist collective, to plan a pride march in 2011 when he met a gay couple from Etla who wanted to get married. The Mexican Supreme Court had recently ruled that marriages performed under Mexico City’s 2010 gay marriage ordinance must be recognized nationwide.
“The debate [over gay marriage] was very fresh,” Méndez said. “So these guys said to me, ‘We want to get married but we don’t want to leave to get married in [Mexico City]. Can we get married here in Oaxaca?'” Continue reading
The Oaxacan Front for the Respect and Recognition of Sexual Diversity had scheduled a roundtable in Oaxaca City Wednesday night to discuss a landmark ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court about whether couples could marry in the state.
But the court didn’t rule on Wednesday, even though it had put the case on its public calendar.
At the Oaxaca event, the main lawyer in the case, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz said he was hopeful this was a good sign. This case is actually one of three Oaxacan marriage cases pending before the court, and it is scheduled to rule on the second on December 5. If the cases are combined, it could mean an even more significant ruling is in the works.
That’s because it takes more than one ruling for the overturn a law in the Mexican system. (This is a little confusing for Americans, so stay with me.) If the court were to rule in the first case that the couple, Lizeth and Monteserrat, can marry, that would only affect them: Lizeth and Montserrat would be able to register their union, but no other same-sex couples could. But a similar ruling in a second case could trigger the process by which the law is changed for everyone. So if it allows two (or three) same-sex Oaxacan couples to marry, the state’s marriage statute could be on its way out for good.
The outcome is complicated, though, because yesterday was the last session for one of the justices, and a change in personnel could shake things up.
Of course, there could also be no special reason for the delay–the court had a couple other big cases on their docket for yesterday, and it could have simply decided it was more than one session could handle. We’ll just have to wait another week to find out.
Things are getting a little weird in Cartago.
This Colombia town made headlines earlier this month when a Catholic priest, Alberto Piedrahíta, celebrated a gay wedding, complete with filing the official paperwork registering the couple’s union.
Piedrahíta was immediately denounced by the bishop, Monseñor Alejandro Castaño, who released a statement saying that Piedrahíta was ordained in Canada, making his religious ceremonies in the area illegal. He should be considered a “vagabond priest, because he is not in communion with the Diocese of Cartago and therefore not allowed to celebrate,” the bishop said, according to El Pais. He also called on people to boycott any religious ceremonies Piedrahíta performs.
Piedrahíta subsequently told a local paper that he was now consulting with lawyers about the possibility of suing the Diocese of Cartago because “they have violated my human rights. I have also the right to work, the right to freedom of religion, [and] freedom of expression.”
This controversy comes as the country’s Senate is at work on gay marriage legislation, which the high court ordered it to pass by 2013.