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Lawsuits in the wings

Anti-marriage-equality bill could pass Guatemalan Congress


An anti-marriage-equality bill is advancing through Guatemala's unicameral Congress.

Bill 5272, the Law to Protect Life and Family, explicitly forbids marriage equality (marriage is already defined in law as between a man and a woman), in direct contradiction of the January marriage-equality ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is binding on Guatemala.

The bill also effectively curtails the state's ability to promote sexual and reproductive health and education, effectively forbidding talk of sexuality not aligned with heterosexuality.

Another bill pending in Congress would implement the gender-identity portion of the Inter-American Court ruling. Bill 5395, the Gender Identity Law, would recognize Guatemalans' right to change official documents to reflect their gender identity.

Activists are not hopeful about that bill's chances.

Should the anti-marriage bill pass, activists say they will sue in the Constitutional Court to strike it down. If they lose there, they will go to the Inter-American system.