by Rex Wockner
Same-sex couples who get married in Mexico City, the only place in the nation where they can do so, are validly married everywhere in Mexico, in all 31 states, the Supreme Court ruled Aug. 10 in a 9-2 vote.
Technically, one has to live in Mexico City to marry there. In practice, the policy is not enforced consistently, if at all.
The court said that Article 121 of the federal constitution requires that a civil-registry act celebrated in one state or district be recognized nationally.
The Mexico City government’s website says that to marry in Mexico City, a couple must “be residents of the Federal District” and present the original and a copy of proof of domicile issued within the past three months. It does not say what qualifies as proof. News reports have mentioned things such as utility bills and have suggested that the requirement is not strictly enforced.
The same page of the website explains what is required for “foreigners” to marry in Mexico City. If only one of the individuals is foreign, he or she must present “authorization issued by the Secretary of Governance to marry.” But, “when both parties are foreigners, permission from the Secretary of Governance is not required.”
The website’s information seems at odds with media statements by Mexico City officials, who have said they hope gay couples will come from around the world to get married and that the city is working with travel agencies to offer packages that include flights, hotel, sightseeing, a wedding and a banquet.
The website of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, under the heading “American Citizens Services – Marriage and Divorce in Mexico,” says: “You should contact the office of the Registro Civil in the jurisdiction where you plan to get married for complete information about the requirements. A marriage that is properly executed in Mexico is valid in the United States provided the marriage would be legal in the United States.”
An English-language Google search for “getting married in Mexico” produced tens of thousands of hits clearly aimed at nonresident foreigners.