In 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling making it much easier for gay and lesbian couples to wed. The decision gave same-sex couples the right to seek a court injunction against state laws banning gay marriage; although it did not technically legalize same-sex unions nationwide, it was a major step in that direction. Mexico’s Supreme Court also issued a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in 2010, saying that same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City were valid and that they must be accepted throughout the country (Mexico City had legalized gay marriage in December 2009). Since 2011, the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo also has allowed gay marriages. In 2014, the congress of the northern state of Coahuila approved same-sex marriage, and in 2015, neighboring Chihuahua followed suit.
2013, in United States v Windsor , the
Court invalidated a provision of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) on the grounds that it
violated the equal protection principles embodied
in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth
Amendment. In a 5 to 4 decision by Justice
Kennedy, the Court said "careful consideration"
had to be given to "discriminations of unusual
character." That, coupled with the deference
that the federal government owes states with
respect to how they define marriage, led to
striking down the federal law that did not
recognize same-sex marriage for federal purposes
(, joint filing of a tax return) even when a
couple was lawfully married under state law.
In dissent, Scalia suggested that the decision
would soon lead to another declaring state bans on
same-sex marriage unconstitutional, and argued the
matter was better left to the states to decide.