Mexico's supreme court on Wednesday struck down a law in the state of Oaxaca that banned same-sex marriages, ruling it unconstitutional.
The Associated Press reported that the move could pave the way for same-sex couples to marry in Oaxaca, and possibly in the rest of the country.
In a unanimous decision, the court ruled against the Oaxaca law that claimed "one of the purposes of marriage is the perpetuation of the species," saying that the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman violated "the principle of equality."
Salon magazine noted that gay marriage has been legal in Mexico City since 2010, with the supreme court ruling that those marriages should be recognized nationwide.
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According to Salon, the ruling could have ramifications beyond Mexico's borders, because the same-sex couples claimed protection of their rights under the American Convention on Human Rights, which has legal force in many Latin American countries.
"In saying that bans on same-sex marriage are discriminatory, the court may establish a precedent that could be used by LGBT activists throughout the region," said Salon.
The Advocate, an LGBT magazine, noted that the ruling effectively changes Oaxaca's civil code to define marriage as "between two people," instead of specifying gender.
The ruling does not eliminate marriage bans in other states immediately, but it does set a legal precedent allowing others to challenge statewide marriage bans.
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