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Weeks Before Leaving Office, Sonoran Governor Appeals Marriage Equality Ruling

With just a few weeks remaining in office, Sonora’s governor has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that would require the state Legislature to approve a marriage equality reform.

In the recent ruling now being appealed, federal Judge Antonio Mora noted that Sonoran authorities have failed to amend state laws that prohibit same-sex marriages, despite a Mexican Supreme Court ruling that all such state laws are unconstitutional. His ruling would require the Sonoran Legislature to carry out the reform by December.

But in the appeal, Governor Claudia Pavlovich’s legal advisers argued that the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling does not constitute a mandate that state legislators must abide by and asked that Mora's ruling be revoked.

Dinorah Vega, an attorney and part of the legal team that won the case now under appeal, described the suit as an effort to delay reform “as long as they can, because (Pavlovich) won’t even be governor when this issue is resolved.” Vega also said the prospects for the appeal are dim.

Responding to criticism, the Sonoran government  tweeted that the appeal was intended simply to seek clarity on what the specific legislative omission of the governor was and in no way was intended to threaten anyone’s marriage rights.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.