A law prohibiting adoption by same-sex couples in Campeche has been ruled unconstitutional this week by the Mexican Supreme Court (SCJN).
The ruling, which sets a constitutional precedent and has sparked an outcry from some groups, followed an appeal by the Campeche Human Rights Commission of an article in that state’s civil code that it considered discriminatory against homosexual couples because it restricted them from adopting children.
Court president Luis María Aguilar Morales said the family model was not that important, that what mattered was providing homes offering support and affection to abandoned children.
The civil code of Campeche, he said, discriminated against homosexual couples because it only mentioned heterosexual ones.
“What is preferable: children on the streets — who according to statistics exceed 100,000 — begging for money, being exploited and on drugs or having them being part of society, living with a united family, despite its nature?” asked the judge.
Of the 10 judges on the Supreme Court, only Eduardo Medina Mora was opposed. He claimed that the superior interest of the children demanded that the state find people and family contexts that are appropriate for the development of the children themselves. Adoption, he added, must be set with the children’s best interests in mind, and not the interests of those who want to adopt.
Judge Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea recalled that the court had already recognized the rights of same-sex couples, and therefore “all models of families are protected by the constitution.” He also pointed out that the civil code of Campeche discriminated in a subtle but clear manner.
“Discrimination against homosexuals is hidden in a subtle and intelligent manner [in the state’s law], that’s what is behind that legislation . . . .”
The Catholic Diocese of Campeche was among those who have spoken out against the court’s ruling, charging that the resolution “violates the rights of children.”
“We Evangelicals and Catholics reject the resolution taken by the judges of the SCJN. This country’s legislators (sic) are wrong. As Catholics, we believe that the children’s right to a normal family, that’s to say a father and a mother, has been violated. This is an upside down world, what was wrong before now looks right,” said church spokesperson Ricardo Hernández Tinoco.
Hernández lamented that judges and people in general are more worried about adoption for same-sex couples and animal rights, while at the same time the right to life is being minimized.
The Catholic priest also said the diocese shouldn’t be considered homophobic because the church has always treated everyone with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation: “The church treats with respect the people with these inclinations, but it is wrong to deny children an adoption by fatherly and motherly figures.”
Opposition also surfaced yesterday at a conference attended by the court’s president.
Aguilar Morales was giving a lecture on an unrelated subject at the Law School of the University of Guanajuato when he was approached by at least three young men who accused him of selling out to the “gay dictatorship.”
Carlos Ramírez, a member of the group ¡Dilo Bien! (Say It Right), approached the dais as Aguilar began his lecture, calling him a “sellout judge.” He asked the judge how much he was paid “to yield before the gay dictatorship” as he threw rainbow-colored 500-peso notes at him.
As the young men were removed from the lecture hall they asked Aguilar how much he was paid to “sell the family” and shouted a last warning: “This is your last call, judge.”
After the incident, Ramírez said Aguilar “doesn’t listen to what the people really want, and the only laws he issues (sic) are in favor of the dictatorship promoted by the homosexuals.”
Aguilar later pointed out that the court doesn’t create laws, it only evaluates them.