Same-sex marriage in Chihuahua

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Mexican state of Chihuahua since 12 June 2015, as a result of a decree by Governor César Duarte Jáquez.[1] By statute, in Mexico, if any five rulings from the courts on a single issue result in the same outcome, legislatures are bound to change the law.[2] In the case of Chihuahua, more than 20 individual amparos (injunctions) were decided with the same outcome, yet the Congress did not act. In anticipation of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ordering the Congress to act, the Governor announced there would be no further prohibition in the state.


Same-sex unions performed in Mexican states
  Same-sex marriages performed.*
Stripes: Proportion of municipal coverage.
  Civil unions performed; marriage by amparo only.
  Marriage not performed (except by amparo) despite court order.
  Marriage accessible by amparo or by traveling out of state.
*Legislation is not equal in all states. See details.


On 30 April 2013, a male same-sex couple asked the Civil Registry of Chihuahua to marry. The Civil Registry rejected their application because the State Civil Code defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. On 7 May 2013, the couple appealed the decision and on 19 August Judge José Juan Múzquiz Gómez of the Tenth District Court of Chihuahua recognized that they had the right to marry. The Civil Registry had up to 3 September to appeal the decision.[3] It did not appeal the decision and allowed the deadline to pass, thereby allowing the couple to marry.[4] On 31 October 2013, a second couple in the state (and the first lesbian couple) was awarded an injunction by the Seventh District Court.[5] They married in the municipality of Juárez in February 2014.[6] On 22 November 2013, Judge Ignacio Cuenca Zamora, from the Eighth District Court, granted the third injunction in the state to a lesbian couple.[7] In December 2013, a fourth couple was granted an injunction. They were the first male couple to marry in Juárez and solemnized their marriage on 13 February 2014.[8] In February 2014, a fifth individual injunction to marry in Chihuahua was granted to Hiram Gonzalez, president of the Centro Humanístico de Estudios Relacionados con la Orientación Sexual (CHEROS).[9]

On 19 March 2014, seven lesbian couples each applied for a marriage license and were rejected. They subsequently applied for an injunction.[10] On 30 June 2014, twenty-six additional couples filed a collective amparo.[11] In July 2014, a same-sex couple was granted the right to marry via injunction, but the judge gave no instructions for reform to the Congress, Civil Registry or the Governor. Unsatisfied with the scope of the judgment, an appeal was launched on 16 July 2014. On 17 October 2014, the case was elevated to the Supreme Court (SCJN).[12][13] In mid-August 2014, a sixth same-sex marriage was held in Chihuahua,[14] and on 20 August 2014, another same-sex marriage occurred in the state.[15] By July 2014, 33 amparos had been filed in the state, 22 in Chihuahua City and 11 in Ciudad Juárez, and nine had been approved.[16] On 13 December 2014, a mass wedding for four lesbian couples who had obtained injunctions was held in Ciudad Juárez,[17] which brought the total of same-sex weddings in the state to 14 for 2014.[18] In February 2015, it was announced that 25 amparos had been successful in the state, but no legislative action had resolved the unconstitutional articles of the Civil Code.[19]

In late December 2015, two same-sex couples were granted injunctions to marry. On 1 June 2016, the First Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court ruled discriminatory articles 134 and 135 of Chihuahua's Civil Code, thereby granting an amparo to two women who sought to marry.[20][21] These cases would indicate that some municipalities in the state were not following Governor César Duarte Jáquez's decree (see below).

In February 2017, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that Chihuahua's Civil Code is unconstitutional because it has yet to be modified to reflect the legalization of same-sex marriage (see "México Igualitario Project" for more details). The Supreme Court ordered the state Congress to change its Civil Code within 90 days.[22][23] Following the ruling, several conservative lawmakers said they would defy the court ruling. A PAN deputy erroneously claimed that the Supreme Court cannot force the state to change its Civil Code,[24] and the Social Encounter Party announced they would sue the state for allowing same-sex couples to marry.[25] However, Governor Javier Corral Jurado called for same-sex marriage to be discussed in Congress.[26] In late March, the Civil Registry of Chihuahua made necessary modifications to marriage certificates, changing the words "groom's name" and "bride's name" with "names of the contracting parties", thus also applying to same-sex couples. Changes to birth certificates were also made.[27] These changes caused an uproar within conservative groups.[28] In April 2017, the Governor issued an executive order reinstating the words "mother" and "father" on birth certificates.[29] Even though the Supreme Court had ordered Congress to change the Civil Code within 90 days, by December 2017, the Civil Code had still not been modified to comply with the Mexican Constitution by removing the heterosexual definition of marriage.[30] In October 2018, the Tenth District Court ruled that should the Congress fail to update its Civil Code "soon", it would hold legislators in contempt and order their dismissal from office.[31]

Legislative actionEdit

In December 2012, lawmakers were presented with a proposal to amend article 143 of the Civil Code of Chihuahua to legalize same-sex marriage.[32] After years with no legislative action, in July 2014, the PAN bloc announced that they would consider approving civil unions, but not same-sex marriage. LGBT groups rejected the proposal because it would not provide the possibility for the spouses to share social security benefits, pensions or other legal benefits of marriage.[33] In response to legislative inaction, a collective injunction was filed in July 2014 with the aim of having the Civil Code declared unconstitutional.[34] The collective injunction was approved on 13 November 2014 and had articles 134 and 135 of the state's Civil Code declared unconstitutional, requiring reparations to the couples and ordering the State Congress to legislate for same-sex marriage.[35] In early February 2015, Judge Cuenca Zamora ruled that the state of Chihuahua had an obligation to abide by the findings of the injunction. His legal opinion was forwarded to the Parliamentary Coordination Board to begin the legislative processes to implement change in the Civil Code.[36]

After the Supreme Court issued its directive that courts must approve injunctions for same-sex marriage based on constitutional protections that rights must be equally provided without distinction to sexual orientation, PAN Deputy María Eugenia Campos Galván presented an initiative to the Chihuahua Congress to limit marriage to one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation. Her proposal was supported by the PAN block of legislators.[37]

On 9 March 2017, a bill to amend the state Civil Code to reflect the legalization of same-sex marriage was introduced by PRD Deputy Crystal Tovar Aragón.[38][39] After two years of legislative inaction, MORENA Deputy Lourdes Valle Armendáriz introduced a new same-sex marriage bill in May 2019.[40]

Gubernatorial decreeEdit

The Government Palace of Chihuahua (Spanish: Palacio de Gobierno de Chihuahua), the seat of the state executive power

On 11 June 2015, Governor César Duarte Jáquez announced that the state would no longer prevent same-sex marriages, making Chihuahua the fourth jurisdiction in Mexico to legalize same-sex marriage.[41][42][43] Duarte Jáquez announced that licenses would be available beginning on 12 June.[1]

In September 2016, lawmakers opposed to same-sex marriage unsuccessfully tried to repeal the Governor's decree.[44]

In April 2017, multiple Mexican media outlets reported that Governor Javier Corral Jurado had issued a new decree banning same-sex marriage in the state.[45] A few days later, the Governor clarified that he had issued a decree reverting to the old birth certificate forms,[29] but denied issuing a decree banning same-sex marriage. He affirmed that same-sex couples are allowed to get married in the state without the need for a court order.[46] In addition, he said he had already personally married 30 same-sex couples in Delicias, Ciudad Cuauhémoc and Ciudad Juárez.[47]

According to the state National System for Integral Family Development, the Office of the Defense of Children and the Family performs the same protocol for all couples seeking to adopt regardless of their sexual orientation.[48] By June 2016, five same-sex couples had requested to adopt.[49] In June 2017, the birth of the daughter of a married same-sex couple was recorded in Chihuahua City, the state capital.[50] A second same-sex couple were able to successfully record the birth of their child in late June 2017.[51]

Marriage statisticsEdit

The following table shows the number of same-sex marriages performed in Chihuahua since legalization in 2015, as reported by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.[52]

Number of marriages performed in Chihuahua
Year Same-sex Opposite-sex Total % same-sex
Female Male Total
2015 44 23 67 20,083 20,150 0.33%
2016 61 42 103 19,058 19,161 0.54%
2017 98 66 164 15,825 15,989 1.03%
2018 114 78 192 15,595 15,787 1.22%

Public opinionEdit

A 2017 opinion poll conducted by Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica found that 45% of Chihuahua residents supported same-sex marriage. 52.5% were opposed.[53]

According to a 2018 survey by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), 36% of the Chihuahua public opposed same-sex marriage.[54]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Morgan, Joe (12 June 2015). "Mexico state of Chihuahua officially approves same-sex marriage". Gay Star News. London. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  2. ^ Lavers, Michael K. (19 February 2013). "Mexican Supreme Court finds gay marriage ban unconstitutional". Washington Blade. Washington, DC. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Seremos el quinto estado en celebrar uniones entre el mismo sexo". El Heraldo de Chihuahua. 23 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Acepta el Estado que Registro Civil case a pareja gay". 4 September 2013.
  5. ^ Otorgan segundo amparo a pareja gay en Chihuahua
  6. ^ Se casa la primera pareja del mismo sexo en Cd. Juárez - Estados
  7. ^ Matrimonio gay avanza en Chihuahua
  8. ^ First same-sex marriage takes place in Juárez
  9. ^ Ganan amparo para casarse cinco parejas del mismo sexo
  10. ^ Mas personas del mismo sexo buscan casarse en Juárez
  11. ^ "Gana comunidad gay amparo colectivo a favor de matrimonio igualitario". El Diario de Chihuahua (in Spanish). Chihuahua, Mexico. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  12. ^ Elba Figueroa, Martha (23 April 2015). "De nueva cuenta Suprema Corte atrae amparo de matrimonio gay". El Diario Mx (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  13. ^ Decidirá la Suprema Corte sobre la norma que prohíbe matrimonios gays
  14. ^ Ya son 6 matrimonios gays en Chihuahua; todos gracias a un amparo
  15. ^ Se consuma la séptima boda gay en Chihuahua
  16. ^ Amparos para matrimonios gay costaron 30 mil pesos
  17. ^ Macias, Adrian (13 December 2014). "Realizan la primer boda colectiva gay en Juárez". StudioA (in Spanish). Mexico. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  18. ^ Celebran primera boda gay colectiva bajo amparo
  19. ^ Mexico's Quiet Marriage Equality Revolution
  20. ^ "SCJN reitera la constitucionalidad del matrimonio gay". Noticias - Gaceta Mexicana. 1 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Ordena Corte a autoridades de Chihuahua registrar el matrimonio de una pareja de mujeres". Animal Político. 1 June 2016.
  23. ^ (in Spanish) Colectivo exige integrar jurisprudencia por el derecho al matrimonio igualitario en Chihuahua
  24. ^ (in Spanish) ‘Suprema Corte no puede obligar a legislar matrimonios gay’
  26. ^ Corral desafía al PAN y empuja el debate de bodas igualitarias en Chihuahua
  27. ^ (in Spanish) Estrena Chihuahua actas de matrimonio “igualitarias”
  28. ^ México: Gobernador de Chihuahua restituye “padre” y “madre” en actas de nacimiento
  29. ^ a b (in Spanish) Parejas del mismo sexo pueden casarse en Chihuahua sin amparo: Corral
  31. ^ (in Spanish) Por omisión legislativa, Juzgado evalúa ordenar a Congreso incluir matrimonio igualitario en Código Civil
  32. ^ Segunda pareja gay gana amparo para boda en Ciudad Juárez
  33. ^ Gays de Chihuahua buscarán legalizar Matrimonio Igualitario vía amparo colectivo
  34. ^ Gays de Chihuahua buscarán legalizar el Matrimonio Igualitario vía amparo colectivo Archived 11 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Gana comunidad gay amparo a favor de matrimonio igualitario
  36. ^ Juez del Estado mexicano de Chihuahua ordena legalizar el matrimonio igualitario
  37. ^ Salmón Aguilera, Alejandro (18 June 2015). "Propone AN elevar a rango constitucional el matrimonio hombre con mujer". La Cronica de Chihuahua (in Spanish). Chihuahua, Mexico. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  38. ^ Iniciativa con carácter de decreto, mediante la cual se propone reformar diversos artículos del Código Civil del Estado, a efecto de contemplar el matrimonio igualitario
  39. ^ Presentación de iniciativas
  40. ^ "Busca diputada matrimonio igualitario para Chihuahua". SDP Noticias (in Spanish). 16 May 2019.
  41. ^ "Chihuahua aprueba el matrimonio homosexual". Ragap España (in Spanish). Spain. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  42. ^ "Gobierno de Chihuahua quita trabas a matrimonios igualitarios". El Diario de Coahuila (in Spanish). Coahuila, Mexico. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  43. ^ Lavers, Michael K. (12 June 2015). "Mexican state to allow same-sex marriage". Washington Blade. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  44. ^ (in Spanish) Congreso deja freno a bodas gay a la próxima legislatura
  45. ^ "Registro Civil suspende matrimonios gays en Chihuahua". 6 April 2017.
  47. ^ (in Spanish) Matrimonios igualitarios no necesitan amparo en Chihuahua
  48. ^ "Buscan 8 parejas gay casarse en Matrimonios Colectivos". OMNIA. 5 February 2016. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016.
  49. ^ "Van 190 matrimonios de parejas gay en año y medio". OMNIA. 6 June 2016.
  50. ^ Open thread 7 June 2017
  51. ^ (in Spanish) Otro matrimonio gay pide al Registro Civil registro de bebé
  52. ^ "Matrimonios, Entidad y municipio de registro, Sexo, Sexo". INEGI (in Spanish).
  53. ^ (in Spanish) Encuesta nacional 2017, Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica
  54. ^ "¿Quién está en contra del matrimonio gay?". El Sol de México (in Spanish). 15 April 2019.