Reports from Mexico indicate that a federal court has ordered one state to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, much to the disappointment of local religious leaders who feel such actions will be detrimental to the traditional family structure.
A Mexican federal court judge in the state of Oaxaca has ruled that a recent constitutional amendment that prohibits discrimination based on "sexual preferences" can be used as a basis to allow same-sex marriage in the state. However, traditional family advocates argue that government and politicians have no business to get involved with what has been regarded as a religious institution.
"Wherever judges or bureaucrats attempt to force homosexual marriage on a people, the international pro-family movement will be engaged … a threat to the natural family anywhere is a threat to the family everywhere," Larry Jacobs, managing director of the World Congress of Families, said in a statement.
Critics of the decision stated it would likely lead to an appeal and that the case will probably come before the Mexican Supreme Court, which would consider the legality of such a change to the country's constitution.
"Homosexual couples are given a different treatment in the same situation, because they are not permitted the right to contract marriage, without valid reasons to justify it, while the reasons given are based simply on sexual preferences," said second district judge Roque Leyva Gustavo, according to reports from LifeSiteNews.com.
Gustavo cited that the law does not conflict with current laws explaining that giving homosexuals the ability to marry would not hinder traditional marriage because many in their society have accepted non-traditional definitions of the family already. The institution of marriage, for Mexico, is no longer religious, but institutionalized, he stated.
"Marriage between people of the same sex is not a threat or opposition to the conservation of the family … secularization of marriage and of society has resulted in a great diversity of forms constituting a family, which does not arise necessarily from marriage between a man and a woman," Gustavo wrote in the decision, according to The Christian Telegraph.
However, the new ruling actually does conflict with the state of Oaxaca's civil code, which states that "matrimony is a civil contract celebrated between a single man and a single woman, who unite to perpetuate the species and to give mutual aid to one another in life."
"There is the possibility of analyzing how the rights of equality, identity, and non-discrimination must be protected regarding sexual preference and, of course, the extent of the protection of the family contained in the fourth article of the Constitution," a spokesman for the Supreme Court stated.