MEXICO has become the latest country to effectively legalise same-sex marriage after its highest court ruled that restricting it to just a man and a woman was in violation of the Mexican Constitution.

In what was seen as a low-key moment in the global LGBTI rights movement, the Supreme Court of Latin America’s second-largest nation made the ruling earlier this month after it was published in a jurisprudential thesis.

“As the purpose of matrimony is not procreation, there is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman,” the ruling said.

“Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.”

While the court did not explicitly say same-sex marriages were now legal, the decision is seen as having that effect without enshrining it in law.

Prior to this ruling, only one of Mexico’s 31 states, Coahuila, had legalised gay marriage. A second state, Quintana Roo, where Cancun is, has allowed gay unions since 2012.

As the neighbouring US awaits a landmark Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, the Mexican court’s rulings have added the country to the list of Latin American nations that recognise same-sex marriage: Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

The Mexican milestone also comes within weeks after Ireland and Greenland both legalised same-sex marriage.

In other parts of Latin America, Chile plans to recognise same-sex civil unions this year, Ecuador approved civil unions in April, while Colombia grants same-sex couples many of the same rights extended to heterosexual married couples.

H/T: The New York Times

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