Mexico’s Supreme Court grants new birth certificate to transgender citizen

Mexico's Supreme Court building

Mexico’s highest court has intervened in the case of a transgender person denied a legal transition by state officials.

The Supreme Court asked the state of Jalisco to issue a new birth certificate to reflect the correct gender and name of the trans citizen.

“As the Supreme Court has argued in other cases, everyone has the right to define their own sexual and gender identity and it is the state’s responsibility to guarantee this decision, which is reflected in the different documents, mainly in the birth certificate,” the court said in a statement seen by Reuters.

“Everyone has the right to define their own sexual and gender identity.”

—Mexico Supreme Court

The person—who has not been identified—has been instructed to request the certificate from the civil registry.

The court issued a similar ruling in October 2018, allowing a Veracruz resident to change their gender marker without going before a judge, as had been customary until then.

Mexico’s LGBT+ rights record

Mexico is socially conservative and has a conflicting record on LGBT+ rights.

Equal marriage was legalised in 2009 in the semi-autonomous Mexico City, which is seen as being more progressive than the rest of the country.

In 2010 the Supreme Court decreed that all states must recognise unions taking place in Mexico City, and ruled to recognise the right of same-sex couples to adopt children in the capital.

A trickle of states began to allow equal marriage, and in 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that any remaining bans were unconstitutional.

Despite this, less than half of the country’s 32 states allow same sex couples to wed, Reuters reported in April.

As well as being denied their rights, LGBT+ people often face violence and even death in Mexico.

A 2015 report found that 1,218 murders were committed throughout the preceding decade, “motivated by prejudice against individuals because of their real or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity.”

Luxembourg PM tells Mexico to improve LGBT+ rights

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel—one of the world’s few openly gay heads of state—visited Mexico’s Senate on April 9.

He called on officials to improve the rights of LGBT+ people and of all women.

“I know that Mexico—and I don’t say this just to please you—is more advanced than other countries on all these issues,” he said.

“But Mexico City doesn’t represent the whole country, of course. And there is still a lot of work to be done.”