MEXICO CITY – Capital Mayor Marcelo Ebrard filed suit Wednesday against Cardinal Juan Sandoval, who accused the politician of bribing Mexican Supreme Court justices to uphold Mexico City’s ordinance allowing same-sex marriage.
The suit seeks an economic sanction against one of Mexico’s leading Catholic prelates, sources close to the case told Efe.
Also named in the complaint was the spokesman for the Mexico City Archdiocese, Hugo Valdemar, who this week said the capital’s gay-friendly ordinances were doing more damage “than drug trafficking.”
Mexico has been racked by drug-related violence in recent years, with some 28,000 people killed since late 2006.
Ebrard had threatened to bring defamation charges if Sandoval did not retract his suggestion that the judges had been bribed into upholding the ordinances authorizing gay marriage and the adoption of children by same-sex couples.
That latter ordinance was ruled constitutional this week by a vote of 9 to 2.
In a statement to the media after filing the complaint, Ebrard said he took action “not only in defense of my honor and prestige, but also in defense of the historical Mexican principle of the separation of church and state.”
“Let me remind the cardinal, the prelates and the spokesmen who have been insulting, discrediting and threatening the Mexico City government and the SCJN (Supreme Court) that we live in a secular state,” Ebrard added.
The amendments to Mexico City’s civil code to allow same-sex marriage were enacted in March. The gay marriage and gay adoption measures have been upheld this month by the Mexican Supreme Court in a series of decisions rejecting challenges brought by the federal Attorney General’s Office.
The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of gay marriage on Aug. 5 and ruled a week later that all of Mexico’s 32 jurisdictions must recognize those unions.
Sandoval made his controversial remarks on Aug. 15, the day before the high court upheld the constitutionality of a Mexico City ordinance allowing gay and lesbian married couples to adopt children.
In statements to reporters in the central city of Aguascalientes, the cardinal said Ebrard and several unnamed “international organizations” had bribed the justices to secure a favorable ruling.
“I don’t know if any of you would like for a pair of lesbians or fags to adopt you. I wouldn’t think so,” the cardinal archbishop of Guadalajara said.
The cardinal’s statements were unanimously denounced by the 11 Supreme Court magistrates in a “vote of censure.” EFE