A Same-Sex Marriage Under Mexican Law, but Outside Mexico – The New York Times


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A Same-Sex Marriage Under Mexican Law, but Outside Mexico

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CreditCreditMegan MacInnes/NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs

By Vincent M. Mallozzi

  • Nov. 28, 2018

Daniel Berezowsky and Jaime Chávez Alor were married Nov. 26 in New York. Diego Gómez Pickering, consul general of Mexico, officiated at his residence on the Upper East Side before about 25 family members and friends.

The marriage marks the first same-sex marriage outside Mexico under Mexican law, a milestone in marriage equality for L.G.B.T. Mexican immigrants living in New York and elsewhere, according to the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs.

Mr. Berezowsky (left), 32, is a human rights specialist and communications strategist at Shift, an organization in New York that seeks to resolve business and human rights issues.

He graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and received a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia.

He is a son of Veronica Ramirez and Dr. Alejandro Berezowsky of Vancouver. His mother, who specialized in thanatology, retired as a therapist in private practice in Vancouver, British Columbia. His father retired as a dentist in private practice there.

Mr. Chávez-Alor, who is 31 and also works in New York, is a lawyer with Vance Center, a nonprofit organization that provides pro bono legal representation to social justice organizations regarding international justice and human rights issues. He graduated from Escuela Libre de Derecho, a law school in Mexico City. He received a master’s of law degree at Columbia.

He is a son of Olivia Alor and Jaime Chávez of Mexico City. His mother is an independent music teacher in Mexico City. His father is a lawyer in private practice there.

The couple met in high school in Mexico City in 2006, and began dating in 2012 after reconnecting on Facebook.

In May, Mr. Berezowsky and Mr. Chávez Alor, two Mexican citizens living in the United States, attempted to get a marriage license at the General Consulate of Mexico in New York, but were denied by Mexico’s Foreign Ministry on the grounds that same-sex marriage is not included in the federal code of Mexico, which only recognizes same-sex marriage in Mexico City and in less than half of Mexico’s 31 states.

“We thought it was discriminatory,” Mr. Berezowsky said. “They had no grounds to deny us. We had every right to get married.”

So they challenged the denial and filed an amparo lawsuit, which guarantees the protection of an individual’s constitutional rights, with the civil federal court in Mexico.

On Oct. 19, the court ruled in their favor, disagreeing with the Foreign Ministry’s argument that the couple could marry by traveling to Mexico City or one of Mexico’s states where marriage equality laws are in place.

As a result, the federal government of Mexico granted a marriage license to the couple, and their union, now legally recognized throughout Mexico, opens the door for other Mexican same-sex couples living abroad to be married in embassies and consulates under Mexican law, a significant development as there are 12 million Mexicans living abroad, according to the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs.

“It felt like after months and months of getting so many noes and rejections, we were finally able to do what should have taken a week to get done,” Mr. Berezowsky said. “Needless to say, we were both thrilled with the ruling.”

Mr. Berezowski added that the ruling may actually serve a dual-purpose: “It will take the same-sex marriage discussion back to Mexico, where recently, presidential candidates kept saying it was not a national issue and that it belonged to individual states and local governments. But this ruling should prove to Mexico’s federal government that same-sex marriage should be legalized throughout the country.”

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